Recently, we here at Abnormal Use mourned the passing of Westlaw Classic. While our editor lamented a world sans Classic, many of us do not share that same sentiment. There is a good reason why Thomson Reuters bid farewell to the foundational online legal research tool. It gave birth to something better. Something superior to Westlaw Classic in every way imaginable. Something that will make your life as a lawyer significantly easier: WestlawNext.
If you want to compare Westlaw Classic to WestlawNext, think original iPhone to iPhone 3G. The comparisons stop with the name with the latter improving significantly on the former. Unlike Classic’s archaic search methods, WestlawNext’s algorithm-based “WestSearch” (think Google) makes research a breeze. No more confusing Boolean or connector searches. Just tell Next what is on your mind. It is that easy.
If that is not enough to bid adieu to Westlaw Classic, wait until you see WestSearch’s comprehensive search capabilities. A simple search instantly reveals not only case law but also statutes, regulations, secondary sources, briefs, and trial court documents. No more having to painfully select three or four databases. Now, you can search them all. At once. In a seamless, well-organized fashion. And, if that search doesn’t seem to be working, just click on that trial court document tab to get a lead from your colleagues who have drafted that memo in support of motion for summary judgment before you.
Aside from the drastically improved search functions, WestlawNext offers many more features than Westlaw Classic ever did. Want to highlight excerpts from cases on-screen? You can do that. Want to copy text complete with Bluebook citations? You can do that, too. Want to organize your research in folders so you can access it later? Yep, not a problem with WestlawNext. In other words, WestlawNext makes Westlaw Classic look like a stack of volumes in an old library.
As a pioneer in its field, Westlaw Classic will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who have ever had to Shepardize cases the old fashioned way. But, let’s face it. Westlaw Classic was a dinosaur when compared to the advancements made by Thomson Reuters. While we have no qualms about taking a moment to mourn Westlaw Classic’s passing, it is time to move on. WestlawNext welcomes you with open arms.