September 03, 2010
Westlaw Next: An Early Review
Posted by David Zaring

I've been using Westlaw Next in the past week, and I like it.  The need to add google style search to the database was palpable, and they've done it.  But - and this may be an artifact of my familiarity with the old way of doing things - I can see why Westlaw took a while to get there, because, at least for academics, the stuff that comes up at the top of Westlaw Next searches is rarely the stuff you most want.  Their sorting by "relevance" doesn't yet strike me as too relevant.

One the other hand, it is easy to work around that, and it's also easy to find the most cited articles on certain subjects now.  Getting a bluebook ready citation after you highlight a passage for copying is extremely useful.  And the ability to easily return to your old searches is pretty nice too.  I guess I'd say that Westlaw Next is making it easier for me to do research in novel databases, which is useful.  It hasn't yet improved my life in JLR, FEDREG, or ALLFEDS, but that new citation tool sure is nice.

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