WestlawNext: Everyone’s Got It?

By , June 16, 2011 2:20 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

Just like the Guess jeans I used to covet in 7th grade–the ones that all the cool girls wore while I was oppressed by the Lee jeans my mother scored at T.J. Maxx–I sometimes wonder if all of the cool law firms out there already have WestlawNext. There have been some interesting postings to AALL chapter list-servs and blogs lately, summarizing polls tracking stats on who has migrated. Fewer than you might think have made the leap. Out of 11 firms that responded to an informal Dallas area poll, only 2 firms provide access. A NOCALL surveyshows that 4 of the 6 Biglaw firms that responded provide access to WestlawNext. Out of 8 mid- to small-sized firms responding, 5 have it and 3 do not. Another pollwhich doesn’t specify a geographic region shows about a 50-50 split in small, medium and Biglaw firms that are planning to or have already migrated to the product.

So, not everybody is using WestlawNext, but it’s a losing battle when law schools are offering the platform and our incoming associates will expect to have access to it. I informally polled our summer associates during training and found that although most are using WestlawNext and prefer the platform, they are all using both WestlawNext and Westlaw.com in tandem. They explained to me that much of the content on Westlaw.com is still not available on WestlawNext, though all of the primary source materials are there. Reviews of WestlawNext were mostly positive, though I had one summer associate tell me that he found using Westlaw.com to be easier, primarily because he got frustrated with all of the results returned on WestlawNext.

Undoubtedly the number of subscribers will continue to rise, as tempting deals are laid out on the table and our young associate consumers demand the updated platform. And just like WestMate, there will likely come a day when Westlaw.com is dead and buried and you’re showing your age when you mention it.

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