Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who is using Westlaw Next and who isn't?

Thanks to Mark Kloempken, Public Services Librarian at Washington University Law Library for posting the results on the law librarian listserv of a poll he conducted of law firms asking who is and isn't using Westlaw Next and why.



Will/willnot use westlawnext





63 attorneys

We already subscribe to westlawnext

We may drop it during our contract renewal this year.

80 attorneys


We subscribed this last fiscal year due to a great deal by West. 

Otherwise, we would have waited a bit

60 attorneys

We added westlawnext to our subscription in August,

Primarily in order to take advantage of the efficiency tools, like foldering and annotating. 

70-attorney law firm


Our researchers love it.  We subscribed when the firm was in the process of adding a different database to our subscription and the package price was attractive. 

70 attorneys.




Subscribe to WestlawNext, as well as classic Westlaw.


We renegotiated our contract in 2010 and West included WestlawNext as part of the package they proposed.  We had favorable response from attorneys/users, particularly the "younger" ones, who concluded that WestlawNext "thinks like they do."  Unfortunately, we have no formal method to track usage across the different platforms, so we don't know how much WestlawNext is being used.


Small firm.

We added WLN as part of our most recent renewal

TR threw it in to an overall good deal.






Will not


50 attorneys


We do not want to spend any more money.


Will not

Our firm does transactional commercial real estate and at this time we do not have a flat-rate subscription to Westlaw.  The additional expense for westlawnext does not meet our needs plus the fact that the monthly transactional fee for Westlaw has jumped from $100 to $200 has us rethinking our association with Westlaw. We have a flat-rate subscription with Lexis which has proven to be very satisfactory. 

Small firm

No intention of subscribing

An expensive service which has too many glitches.


35 attorneys.  Medium-sized firm.

We did not subscribe and do not plan to. 

Cost is the main reason.










200 attorneys.  7 offices.  Med/Large Firm

We added WLN to our current contract due to excellent negotiating and attorney demand (we had a two month trial of the service and our associates and "younger partners" loved the platform).  

However, if WL was not willing to negotiate, we probably would not have added the service to our contract due to the price.

  Medium Law Firm

We have been subscribing to WESTLAWNEXT since May/2010.  

Most of our attorneys under 40 love westlawnext.  The use it all the time.   I use and like also.  I feel it can be really helpful.  Very easy to use also.


125 attorneys.  Large, regional firm. 

We've been subscribers for about 6 months

Our attorneys really do like it.











Will not


140 attorneys.

We just renewed our West contract and did not make any provisions for moving to westlawnext,

Because the pricing is unpredictable and the platform doesn’t justify the extra expense.

Medium sized firm.

At this time, we are not subscribing.

While the product seems slick, we have real concerns about the cost.

65 attorneys.  Medium size, I guess  

We have no plans to subscribe

Our current contract is a good one; we see no reason to change.

Medium size

We do subscribe.





190 attorneys 

Will not 

Price is too high, we did a trial and we were not at all happy with search results, esp. In secondary sources, attorneys said we would subscribe only if we were forced to because law students couldn't learn westlaw classic 

Medium-size firm


We will not subscribe


Too expensive!  And 2. I think that West is putting so much money and research into it that they will eventually only offer WLN.  Just like the software, I think the web version of "old Westlaw" will fade away.  And I am patient enough to wait for that to happen.


100 attorneys. Medium


Will not subscribe


I'm not impressed with it.


110 attorneys.  Mid-sized law firm library. 

We will not subscribe to WestlawNext until it becomes a regular part of our subscription.

We do not see the point of paying extra for this new platform especially because it is not complete.

Medium firm.


Will not subscribe

We have a better plan with Lexis







Large firm

We subscribed in 2010

Both wl and wln are available at the same website, so our users are able to stick with the old or search in the new version or switch back and forth.

Large law firm

We have already subscribed to WLNext since last summer.

We subscribed because the timing was perfect as regards to our consolidatiion of our online subscription offerings by canceling and/or decreasing the content of many of our overhead Web library subscriptions such as RIA, BNA and CCH. Additionally, WLNext has a very intuitive user interface that is easy for end users to navigate. Finally, as we are trending more toward not charging for online reseach as our physcial collections shrink the pricing model of WLNext was not an issue generaly speaking.








Will not



We are currently satisfied with our service and the price we pay for it.  We don't want to be forced to pay more for a new interface, and we aren't interested in  learning a whole new pricing model.

Eventually they will discontinue or make it otherwise unusable, until then we are sticking with what we know.


Close to 400 lawyers.  We are a large firm.


We are renegotiating our multi-year contracts this year, which includes Westlaw.  Our current expiration dates for both are early 2012. 

During the negotiation process, WestlawNext will probably be discussed, but I can't say for sure if we will go with it.  Lexis will be unveiling their comparable product sometime this year, or so we heard.  (LexisAdvance?).


My major problem is the cost of running the searches.  I think that people will easily run up bills by not keeping track of all the clicks they are making in a search result. 


450 attorneys.  Medium/large  

Will not subscribe

Due to pricing. 








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I'm intrigued by the comment from "younger" lawyers who say that Westlaw Next "thinks like they do." What they really mean is that they don't want to think -- they want the machine to do the thinking for them. That works well some of the time, but other times it doesn't.

Posted by: David | Jan 16, 2011 8:05:36 AM

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