Monday, February 4, 2013
In another apparent sign of the legal ed. times, Thomson Reuters, parent company of West, announced last Friday that it had sold its legal publishing business which includes West Academic, Foundation Press and Gilbert (the study guides and nutshells). Thomson Reuters says it will continue to support the law school market through WestlawNext and related legal research products and services.
Why did TR sell its law school publishing operations to a Philadelphia based private equity firm? A TR spokesman said “It’s a segment of the market that, longer-term, we didn’t see as within the core of our legal research offerings . . . . ” The Wall Street Journal Law Blog (subscription required) has a few more details about the sale here.
Over at the Faculty Lounge, Professor Eric Chiappinelli (Texas Tech) suggests that TR's decision is related to the long slide in law school applications:
I suspect that part of the motivation to dump casebook publishing is the near certainty that the market for casebooks is about to become smaller. Casebook sales are a function of the number of law students, and that number is likely to shrink. And soon.
. . . .
Could it be that Thomson Reuters sees that fewer law students mean fewer casebooks sold?