May 3, 2012
Westlaw To End Free Printing For Law Schools
News is bubbling through law school and library forums that West will discontinue free law school printing effective June 30, 2013. I assume that includes faculty printing. Law schools can keep the printers and fund them if they wanted to, but Westlaw IDs would be tied to them only through June 30, 2014. When I wrote about Bloomberg Law's push into law schools, I said Bloomberg had no plans to include free printing as part of the deal. I didn't think it made any difference to the acceptance of Bloomberg in law schools given that it was essentially going to be free. See that post for more details.
Free Westlaw printing, as with Lexis, had been part of the law school package since the early days of their law school presence. I don't know if Bloomberg's plan had triggered any soul searching in the Eagan executive offices, but it might have in the accounting offices. I expect the folks in Dayton will be thinking about this as well. My impression developed at the various schools in which I worked is that students print a lot and use a little of that printing. We often say we want students to develop good research habits. Printing is part of that, I think, and students will be a bit more careful of what they commit to paper if they have to pay for it. The alternative, of course, is storing that research on the system or another device.
I haven't heard if there are further cuts planned. I would think there would be less need to have Westlaw student reps since there wouldn't be a need to monitor dedicated printers. It's the end of an era, I guess. [MG]
What's the big deal with printing. Get a high-speed laser print and link it to the WestLaw account, in fact all the research services. I don't see any reason to have a dedicated WestLaw or LexisNexis printer. So long as the terminals let you direct your research printouts to an IP address of your printer, I see no reason for these companies to be subsidizing hardware. In fact, there is no reason for dedicated Westlaw and Lexis terminals; just assign a student user ID and let them login from their own laptops or school shared PCs.
Posted by: Seth Rowland | May 18, 2012 12:37:08 PM
I wasn't a Westlaw rep, although I wanted to be. At my lawschool, reps did far more than just manning the printers that no one used. I don't think this changes the value in having student reps. I do, however, agree that it will force students to be more efficient with their research/printing.
Posted by: Lauren | May 17, 2012 11:43:11 AM
Well, that's just horrible. I don't see much positive results for this one. Maybe they should reconsider their decision.
Posted by: Printing Brisbane | May 6, 2012 5:27:48 PM