WestlawNext Consolidates

Back in the winter, we unveiled the new features that Thomson / West’s boffins have been dreaming up to soup up Westlaw for a Google-impatient generation.

A few notes from Eagan.

First, for those who can’t live without dabbling with expensive professional tools on mobile devices, a new app has been unveiled to make WestlawNext accessible on mobiles like BlackBerrys, iPhones, Androids or just about any smartphone with a Web browser, like BlackBerry browser, Safari 4.0 or later, Opera Mini 4.2 or later, Opera Mobile 9.7 or later, with Javascript enabled. Printing might be a little more of a challenge.

Using the service on an e-reader requires a little attention, but all the details are reported here.

American law librarians are reporting that some users have found their way into the more expensive space of WestlawNext, without anything more than a standard Westlaw contract. They may be surprised when the expense of the new service registers. Apparently old Westlaw and Westlawnext are joined together like crazy glue, since one is operating above the other. A librarian wanted to stick with old Westlaw, “on principle” and found it impossible.

Two very good and thoughtful product reviews – not rushed to meet launch like the initial blog postings: Westlaw’s new upgrade – WestlawNext – Report of an early adopter by Jeffrey Isaac Ehrlich in Plaintiff magazine from California, and a review from the April issue of AALL Spectrum.

Here’s a useful 8 page summary sheet explaining the differences between the old and the new service.

And for all those Slaw readers who haven’t been satiated by David Cheifetz’ tort exam, the folks from Eagan are running a couple of contests with cool orange Ipod Touches as prizes:

Tell us how you use WestlawNext Mobile in 300 words or less, and submit your story by June 11.

Second contest: They’re giving away an iPod touch each week for the next eight weeks for photos of the unique locations subscribers use WestlawNext Mobile. The rules:

Snap a digital photo that includes your mobile device doing its thing, with the WestlawNext Mobile screen clearly visible.
You can include yourself in the photo, but don’t include others without their written consent.
Photos must be in GIF, JPG or BMP format (color) and less than 2MB in size.
Submit photos by email to westlelearning@thomsonreuters.com. Include your name, title, daytime phone, email, and your employer (name and address).
The email should also include a brief caption or description of the photo.

The fine print says (alas) that it’s open only to residents of the 50 US/DC who are employed by a corporation, nonprofit organization, or academic institution, with a legal or regulatory title.

I don’t think I have ever met anyone with a legal or regulatory title, except “Judge”. But then Canadians, Australians and Europeans need not apply anyway. Nor Puerto Ricans or other offshore islanders.


  1. David Cheifetz

    Satiated? That’s no good. There’s still dessert ahead.