Westlaw WebPlus Search Engine

westlaw_web_plus.pngWestlaw has taken its WebPlus search engine out from behind the paywall and made it available freely on the web. Through a combination, it seems, of editorial selection of sites or domains and an algorithm the engine offers to fetch you from the web a better selection of legally interesting results than a simple Google search might do.

Slow typing in the search box brings up a list of suggested “issues.” Results can be filtered by a simple set of facets.

There’s a promo video that was used within Westlaw proper for law students — who seem to me, alas, to be the main users of this engine.


  1. Worked quite nicely to bring up exact hits on the copyright law applicable to tattoos, although the fact that the hits are framed within a Westlaw grid, and exist as Westlaw URLs, is a touch irritating.

  2. It seems that Westlaw WebPlus has gone offline. Attempts to use the service get 403 error messages. It was working this morning. Perhaps it got overloaded. I’ll try to comment here if and when it comes online again.

  3. Seems like they turned off access, now it redirects to an ad. however the http://legal.thomsonwebplus.com address still gets through.

  4. Thanks, Pete. I did wonder about the strange URL that I wound up using in my post. I should have known it wouldn’t survive.