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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I want my Westlaw Classic

Oh yes I do!  Sure, I feel about as outdated as this commercial in saying so, but Westlaw is now telling me that Classic database is disappearing in about two months, and I'm not happy.  I tried to use WestlawNext when it first came out.  The "copy with citation" feature was nice for quotations, and I liked the idea of a more Google-like approach.  But the search results were just bizarre to me.  It was more akin to the anti-Google -- I'd type in search terms or even a case name, and I'd get everything other than the case or article I was looking for.  I retreated back to Classic after just a few frustrating forays.  I like Classic's pure Boolean option -- I know it'll give me a complete result.  Or, when I'm looking to skim the surface of a topic, the "natural language" search has actually worked pretty well for me.  I don't see any need for change, certainly not based on my early Next experience.

Now, it looks like I will have no choice.  Is anyone else in the same boat as me?  Can we try to save Classic?  Or should I just accept reality and try to adapt to Next?  Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

[I should make clear -- I'm sure I was misusing Next.  But it was supposed to be easier!  If you have thoughts on what I was doing wrong, I'd appreciate those, too.]

Posted by Matt Bodie on April 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


WestlawNext is the worst thing ever. They took away something that actually worked and replaced it with something that seems like it was designed by f***ing Comcast.

From my 1L year of law school in 2002, through 2015, Westlaw Classic loaded quickly and worked reliably. Once I learned how to use the site, it was always there for me, and the only annoying thing about it was that it would reset your session at ~3:30 in the morning if you happened to be working at that hour.

WestlawNext loads slowly, is frequently "down" for one reason or another, and generally sucks across the board. The reliable thing I worked with for 13 years is gone. As far as I know, Westlaw Classic didn't have a "high usage" error screen telling you that Westlaw didn't have enough computing power to handle it when too many lawyers were using the program. https://1.next.westlaw.com/HighUsage.html

Right now, for the third or fourth time in the past few weeks, I'm doing critical research late at night, and find myself locked out of Westlaw.

Is there any plan to bring back the old westlaw, or are they persuadable? WestlawNext is like New Coke if New Coke had no quality controls and consistently gave people dysentery.

Posted by: lockedoutofwl | Oct 31, 2015 11:56:01 PM

I've finally been forced to Westlaw Next since classic was retired this month. I hate it, I've talked to the rep many times and it seems like Westlaw has just gotten rid of every tool that permitted quick and easy targeted research. My rep keeps telling me the new product is like google, like that is a good thing for paid research platform.

Its so cumbersome to do targeted research, no more best section, no more quick and easy review of cases, now I have to click thru every term in the case. In order to search one database, I have to click through tons of levels, etc. Favorite databases no longer come up, I can't get back to my original search to edit it with any ease, instead I have to click the back button a zillion times. There are 8 steps to print a case.

Posted by: sam | Aug 19, 2015 3:54:45 PM

On behalf of LexisNexis, we’d like to take this opportunity to clarify our plans regarding customer access to lexis.com and Lexis Advance. While we continue to migrate customers to Lexis Advance, we have no plans to remove access to lexis.com in the near future. If you have questions or training needs related to lexis.com or Lexis Advance, please contact your account representative.

Posted by: Cindy Spohr | Apr 28, 2014 3:58:40 PM

"Next" has always seemed not smart enough. I have been suffering in silence, because everything new is better.....in the majority view here.

Posted by: Mary Keane | Apr 25, 2014 1:25:47 PM

"Now I think you may be correct that you cannot search *only* Tax Journal and Cases and Briefs like you could in WestlawClassic. . . . If you have a reason for preferring the list generated by the search on WestlawClassic instead, I'd be very interested in hearing it."

Easy. I might be researching a recent development and want to know what pracitioners are saying about it, and how the topic is being discussed in case filings. With Westlaw classic, I could easily get that information. With WestlawNext, I cannot.


But the organization of the results list for that search, in Westlaw Classic, is of little-to-no value at all. You have all of a given source's material together. For instance, you'll have a list that has the 17 Internal Revenue Manual results first, then the cases, then a particular journal.

The *results* themselves are there in WestlawNext, the same as in Westlaw Classic. The difference is in the display and I fail to see how the display of the results (not the results themselves, which are the same) is helpful.

Posted by: Marty Witt | Apr 23, 2014 2:48:03 PM

We only have access to Lexis (for cost reasons), and I loathe Lexis Advance. It's just terrible. On the upside, when I very recently shared my frustration with our Lexis rep, I was told that Lexis has no current plans to disable the classic system. You can still get to it by going to lexis.com instead of the Lexis Advance portal.

I too suspect that Lexis Advance will eventually be the only option. But if Lexis is getting lots of complaints about that system and seeing a bounce in subscriptions as people get frustrated with Westlaw Next, maybe that will buy us some more time . . .

Posted by: Emily Bremer | Apr 23, 2014 9:21:58 AM

"Now I think you may be correct that you cannot search *only* Tax Journal and Cases and Briefs like you could in WestlawClassic. . . . If you have a reason for preferring the list generated by the search on WestlawClassic instead, I'd be very interested in hearing it."

Easy. I might be researching a recent development and want to know what pracitioners are saying about it, and how the topic is being discussed in case filings. With Westlaw classic, I could easily get that information. With WestlawNext, I cannot.

Ultimately, WestlawNext takes the approach that "Westlaw knows best," and practitioners in research-intensive areas are shortchanged. Maybe the gimmicks will make up for the lack of precision and inability to identify relevant legal authorities, but I doubt it. Thank god for RIA Checkpoint, at least for some searches.

Posted by: andy | Apr 20, 2014 10:09:40 PM

Those who are bemoaning the death of Westlaw Classic seem to have no idea how WestlawNext works. Since I made the switch in early 2013, I've continued to do exclusively boolean searching by prefacing my searches with "adv:" My searches are as efficient as they were on Classic. My legal research as a whole is actually more efficient because Next's interface improvements eliminate an entire step in my research process, as described at http://info.legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com/westlawnext/customer-insights/lisa-solomon/default.aspx (No, Thomson Reuters didn't pay me for my testimonial - I don't even get a discount on my WLN plan).

The only thing I'll miss once they kill Classic is Results Plus. Although I have the Related Documents plan, for now I can still access Results Plus (which is an add-on to Classic), which returns more results (albeit from a smaller database) than Related Documents.

I've blogged extensively about my switch from Classic to Next. Although most of the posts focused on pricing, folks responding here may nevertheless be interested. You can find all of the posts at http://legalresearchandwritingpro.com/blog/category/legal-research/.

Posted by: Lisa Solomon | Apr 20, 2014 1:53:41 PM

Westlaw Next's Advanced search lets you recreate much of traditional Lexis (I can't really do a keynote search as effectively, though). Things are much more intuitive when it comes to narrowing searches. Really, I like both but prefer Westlaw Next.

Lexis Advanced is terrible, though. If they abandon traditional Lexis, I'll be done with Lexis for good. It isn't about usability (although I can't find half the things I used to), it's about that stupid gimmick where everything is opened in a new tab, but really isn't, so the page has to refresh every time I want to close one of their new imaginary tabs. It really slows everything down and makes it cumbersome. If I want to open a new tab, I'd open a new tab. The feature makes the site nearly unusable to me.

Posted by: Erik M | Apr 19, 2014 10:18:19 PM

My firm switched to Lexis, then we did a trial of Westlaw Next. Trust me: the worst Westlaw product is better than the best Lexis product. God, do I miss key numbers. And while I'm not one to rely on head notes, the Lexis ones are useless going on misleading.

And yes, Lexis is already not supporting everything on its old version. They were probably waiting for Westlaw to jump first.

Posted by: Anderson | Apr 19, 2014 9:43:20 PM

And here's a tip for those who complain that it takes too many clicks to get to a particular source (or set of sources).

Browsers these days have this capability that maybe you've heard something about. It's called "bookmarking".

It works. Try it.

Posted by: Neal Goldfarb | Apr 19, 2014 4:44:50 PM

For my money, Westlaw Next is head and shoulders above Lexis Advance. WN's interface is much cleaner and asker to use; LA's is a cluttered, confusing disaster. For example, browsing for treatises by subject area is a snap on WN, but very much not a snap on LA. also, with WN it's easy to find legislative-history materials directly from the page for the code section you're interested in (just click on the "History" tab). That functionality doesn't exist at all in Lexis Advance.

Another big advantage of Westlaw is that overall their selection of treatises is much better than Lexis's.

I'm baffled as to why anyone who is really familiar with both systems would prefer Lexis Advance.

Posted by: Neal Goldfarb | Apr 19, 2014 4:41:24 PM

It sounds like many of you were introduced to WestlawNext when it was in its infancy. It has made great strides since then, and I encourage you to give it another try. It has limitations, as does Westlaw Classic, but those limitations are not really what is being discussed.
Here are some examples of how you can use WestlawNext similarly to Westlaw Classic.

"The "Practice Area" tab does not replicate Westlaw classic. From the home page, it will take you about 4 clicks to get to the Tax area and able to "specify content to search." Even then, however, you cannot select only 2-3 treatises, like you could in Classic. You must search All Secondary Sources are none. Clearly inferior to Westlaw Classic and other tax services."

WestlawNext, like many new versions of databases, can make extensive use of facets. The idea here is that you run a selected search and then use facets to refine results, as opposed to selecting things in advance. Different? Yes. Inherently inferior? No.

So say you want to find all results for "QSub Corporations" in both in (1) Tax Elections Deskbook 16th Edition and (2) State Taxation of Pass-Through Entities and Their Owners.

To do that, you navigate to the Tax Texts & Treatises (multiple ways to get there, but you can do it in 3 clicks: Secondary Sources -> Tax -> All Tax Texts & Treatises. Now you run the ADV: "QSub Corporation" in the box at the top (keep the ADV: unless you've changed your preferences, as I'll discuss more below). You should get 5 results.

NOW you use your facets. On the left, click "Select a Publication Name" and then you select the publications you want (just like you would pre-search with the check boxes in WestlawCLassic). Click Filter and you now have just the results you'd get using the check boxes in Classic. Just a change in order of steps you take.

Another example -
"And good luck searching only Supreme Court tax cases. As with the other headings, cases are an all-or-nothing proposition. Clearly dumbed down for the indiscriminating mind."

Unless I am misunderstanding what you mean by Supreme Court tax cases, this is still easily accomplished in WestlawNext. From the main page -

Click Cases, then Tax. Now, before you enter the term in the box above, click on the box between the search box and the orange Search button. There, check the box for U.S. Supreme Court (and make sure no other boxes are checked). Run the search ADV: "safe harbor" and you'll get the 7 "tax cases" (as ID'd by Westlaw) from the U.S. Supreme Court that have that phrase.

If you don't want to take the step to limit the court pre-search as described above, that's fine - you can use the facets here instead. Run ADV: "safe harbor" in All State & Federal instead (likely your default) and then narrow by Federal -> Supreme Ct. from the facets on the left. You'll find the same 7 cases.

Now I think you may be correct that you cannot search *only* Tax Journal and Cases and Briefs like you could in WestlawClassic. Frankly, however, running that sort of search in Classic was not very efficient. Doing that generates a result list without any meaningful order. Every Internal Revenue Manual result is listed first in the example I just tried in WestlawClassic, for instance. Run the search in all tax material in WestlawNext and then you can narrow to each particular type (in turn) using facets. If you have a reason for preferring the list generated by the search on WestlawClassic instead, I'd be very interested in hearing it.

As to Todd's comment "If you enter a Terms & Connectors search in the main Next search box, it will recognize that and run a Terms & Connectors search automatically."

This is *only* true if you've done what he suggests and changed your preferences. Try this example (with the default preferences).

From the main page (All State and Federal as jurisdiction) run a search for ADV: "Heart Failure" ... you'll see 7,125 cases. Each of those 7,125 cases will have the exact phrase of "heart failure" somewhere.

Now go back to the main page and run the search "Heart Failure" without the ADV:... you'll see 7,128 cases. I use this example because it is particularly egregious. The first case result (even highlighted in the Overview results) is Gonzalez v. Ozalid Corp. (235 A.D.2d 859). Guess what though? That case does not include the phrase "heart failure" anywhere in the text!

Note the small text above your results:

"WestSearch includes documents with concepts related to your phrase for more thorough research.
To modify these results to just documents that include your exact phrase, click here."

If you click the click here, it will populate the search with the adv: and you'll come back to your 7,125 results - with no Gonzalez case anymore.

For the longest time, WestlawNext didn't tell users what was happening, and it was only about 1 year ago that the small disclaimer language was added. But it's also displayed in such a way that no one really reads it.

Without using ADV: or Advanced search, the main search bar does not recognize any Boolean connectors (AND / OR / NOT), nor does it recognize phrase searching using quotes. It will, however, recognize other connectors such as proximity searches.

Further, if you use something like a proximity connector it will trigger WestlawNext to treat your entire search as an Advanced Search (basically, it is a cue to the system that this particular user actually knows what he or she is doing) so that any contained Boolean connectors or phrases will be treated as such.

There are still limitations to WestlawNext as compared with Classic, most notably in its coverage of materials (not everything for foreign/ international sources has been migrated over at this point), but those limitations are not the things that most of you seem to be up in arms over.

If you're unsure of how to use the new platform, I echo Todd's suggestion to ask your librarians for assistance, rather than the reps. The reps are there to sell you and can make anything sound great; the librarians will shoot straight and tell you the actual strengths and weaknesses of the platform.

DISCLAIMER: I don't work for Westlaw and these opinions are my only own personal ones.

Posted by: Marty Witt | Apr 18, 2014 8:20:37 PM

And good luck searching only Supreme Court tax cases. As with the other headings, cases are an all-or-nothing proposition. Clearly dumbed down for the indiscriminating mind.

Posted by: andy | Apr 18, 2014 6:08:44 PM

OK, I just tried using a connector without "adv" and it worked. That must be something fairly new -- it definitely has not always been the case.

The "Practice Area" tab does not replicate Westlaw classic. From the home page, it will take you about 4 clicks to get to the Tax area and able to "specify content to search." Even then, however, you cannot select only 2-3 treatises, like you could in Classic. You must search All Secondary Sources are none. Clearly inferior to Westlaw Classic and other tax services.

Posted by: andy | Apr 18, 2014 6:07:18 PM

I swear I'm not on West's payroll--I just spend a lot of time using and teaching WestlawNext. If you enter a Terms & Connectors search in the main Next search box, it will recognize that and run a Terms & Connectors search automatically. You don't even need to type "adv". Also, if you go to the "Practice Areas" tab and then select "Tax" and then check the "Specify content to search" radio button, you can search within specific sources, e.g., Tax Briefs.

Also, I'll concede this is hidden, but on the main screen, if you scroll down to the very bottom, there's a link for "Peferences." In the "Search" tab, you can make it so that any search with an AND, OR, etc. is run as a Boolean search.

Posted by: Todd Ito | Apr 18, 2014 5:45:48 PM

It would be nice if you could default the search box to be in "Advanced mode." That mode does cure a lot of the major problems with WestlawNext and keeps you from dealing with the mountains of irrelevant results that that the standard mode uses.

The most regrettable feature (or lack thereof), relates to the inability to choose specific sources. In the tax world, sometimes you want to search only a limited number of sources -- say, All Primary Tax Materials, plus Tax Journals, and Tax Briefs. Under the old Westlaw, you could just check the 3 respective boxes for those sources and your results would be drawn exclusively from them. Under WestlawNext, that is impossible.

For tax attorneys, who do a lot of research and presumably provide a lucrative customer base, the elimination of Westlaw Classic is unfortunatle. I'm now having my students do tax research in Westlaw competitors (including Checkpoint and Lexis). Maybe the dumbing-down of Westlaw will be good for most users, but this makes life difficult for tax attorneys.

I had been a Westlaw advocate adherent since I was a law student rep for the company as a 2L. How the mighty have fallen.

Posted by: andy | Apr 18, 2014 5:27:56 PM

Using a Terms & Connectors search in WestlawNext is not a close approximation of a Terms & Connectors search in Westlaw Classic--it is exactly the same. For example, in Todd Henderson's article "Deconstructing Duff and Phelps," 74 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1739 (2007), he provides a Westlaw search string in Footnote 6. If you run that search in the 7th Circuit Cases database in WestlawNext, you get the exact same results as in Classic.

This was not initially the case, but there have been many improvements to WestlawNext since its initial launch, including allowing strict Terms & Connectors, which I agree is very important. At this point, I'm hard pressed to think of anything you could do in Classic that you can't do in Next. I have no particular loyalty to Westlaw, but I find it very surprising that people think it's "awful" or "horrendously bad" as it's presently constituted (i.e., after years of improving it). If any Classic users need help with the transition, I'm sure your librarians would be happy to assist.

Posted by: Todd Ito | Apr 18, 2014 3:47:01 PM

Agreed. WestlawNext is horrendously bad; I use it rarely. It was actually Lexis's dumbing-down of its classic interface (like, you can't save your information, so it won't default to tax for me, and won't let me choose from my recent databases) that drove me into the arms of Westlaw. Without the Classic, though, I have no reason to care about Westlaw.

Posted by: Sam Brunson | Apr 17, 2014 4:55:27 PM

Ironic that you have to use the "advanced" tool on WestlawNext to approximate the search function on the now-defunct version of Westlaw.

Posted by: Adam Kolber | Apr 17, 2014 4:28:11 PM

I would guess that Lexis will kill off its legacy product "Lexis Classic" in the near future in the same fashion, so a switch to Lexis Classic might be futile.

I asked our Westlaw rep to talk me through some of the features and asked how I could do a few things that I'd previously used. It ended up making the transition to Westlaw Next virtually painless.

Posted by: Derek Muller | Apr 17, 2014 4:12:39 PM

It is also an issue with respect to supporting certain claims in our scholarship. In making claims of the nature that no case out there has ever held . . ., I often would indicate in the footnote exactly what Boolean search(es) had been run as of what date. I have seen many others doing the same. Others could then re-run my search, or see if they felt there was an error in my search. If Maggie is correct that even using adv only "closely approximates" the Boolean search then it will be harder to make and support claims of this nature.

Posted by: Victoria Schwartz | Apr 17, 2014 3:18:18 PM

Jim Gardner is absolutely correct. And each vendor loses credibility when they claim that these new products are "what we asked for". I realize I will be forced to use them, but I will never have the level of confidence in their results that I have with the classic versions of Westlaw and lexis.com.

Posted by: Dan Baker | Apr 17, 2014 12:12:43 PM

Our library director just had a meeting with faculty about this -- and as a passionate hater of Next in its early days, I came away feeling the world isn't ending.

Here's what I learned:

(1) Next has gotten far better than it was in its first few years, when the search results were absurd. Lexis Advance, apparently, still tends to return lots of garbage results and behave like Next did in its earlier incarnations.

(2) There are specific improvements to Next that make this bearable:

(a) You can now drill down to the small database you want to look in instead of wasting time on global searches that return garbage (e.g., state decisions in Louisiana; federal decisions in the Central District of California; only Supreme Court decisions...)

(b) There is a small, barely noticeable "advanced" button next to the search bar. Click it. You'll get fields that you fill in and use, just like you may have used terms and connector fields (e.g., Judge, Title, Digest, etc.).

(c) In "advanced" mode, you can use the boolean searching you love.

Note though that it's not going to be doing "true" boolean searching -- there are still about 130 algorithms running in the background to "improve" your search string, but it should closely approximate the results.

Posted by: Maggie | Apr 17, 2014 11:10:10 AM

You can get to classic Lexis from LexisAdvance. You cannot get to classic Westlaw from WestlawNext. I was a Lexis user in law school but switched during practice because my firm's contract was with Westlaw. I'll probably switch back to Lexis after July.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 17, 2014 3:12:25 AM

Not sure Lexis will save you. It changed to Lexis Advance a few months ago, and I hate it for what seems to be similar reasons. It's almost as if they created the new interface for people who don't know the law - and then, what about people who know what they are looking for? Good luck.

Posted by: Jasmine | Apr 17, 2014 12:02:15 AM

Remain calm. All is well.

I (involuntarily) switched to WestlawNext for most research about six months ago. Once you get used to it, you'll do just fine. If a cranky, averse-to-change curmudgeon like me can make it work, I'm confident you will as well. You should get in touch with your school's Westlaw Rep and arrange for a(nother) training session. It will help.

Posted by: Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk | Apr 16, 2014 10:48:17 PM

I am a techie and love all types of innovation, but Westlaw Next makes me sick and decreases my efficiency. I was gutted to learn about the mandated switch over. Keeping the option -- and not forcing people to abandon other quality aspects of your services while you increase prices 10-15% -- to enhance flexibility seems most sensible. Shame on you for limiting options while increasing prices.

Posted by: anon | Apr 16, 2014 10:25:56 PM

Bugger! It would help if the folks at Westlaw, having now alerted us to the demise of their classic interface, were a little more pro-active in teaching us how to use WestlawNext (i.e., link to a webcast showing how I can get the main searches I like without having to rely on some nice person responding to Matt letting me know that I should use "adv:"). I foresee a number of hours with a rep retraining myself to do all the searches I like to do, and access the databases I like. I agree with Jim Gardner that it's being dumbed down for non-professionals. It's why I never bothered with Next except on my iPad, and I encountered the same frustrations as everyone else. [It's the way I felt when WordPerfect went the way of all flesh: I actually knew the keystrokes for WordPerfect and didn't have to use the mouse, and found the whole thing a lot quicker and better than Word.]

Posted by: Eric Miller | Apr 16, 2014 10:08:44 PM

Don't bother with Lexis or Bloomberg -- all the services have now switched to Google-style searching, and after looking at all three, I'm persuaded that West has the best of a lousy group of products. What seems to have been forgotten by these companies is that Google-style searching is designed for people who don't know squat about the subject they're investigating. It's not bad for that purpose. But it's not the right tool for professionals who already know exactly what they want and where it's located. I'm grateful for the tips about how to replicate the old form of searching. My problem now is a loss of trust arising from the awful feeling that I no longer have confidence that I'm finding everything out there. This is an improvement?

Posted by: Jim Gardner | Apr 16, 2014 6:03:28 PM

Same. Switching to Lexis or maybe Bloomberg Law (if they will come to Belmont).

This is actually a great opportunity for Bloomberg Law. They looked pretty good when I dd a quick test run about a year ago, but I was too familiar with WestLaw to switch. Hate WestLaw Next, and if I am going to have to learn another system, it might be worth learning Bloomberg Law (especially for us corporate law folks).

Posted by: Haskell Murray | Apr 16, 2014 4:38:43 PM

I am with you 100% and I too am considering a switch to Lexis.

Posted by: Brian Clarke | Apr 16, 2014 3:59:12 PM

I am seriously thinking about using Lexis rather than Westlaw as a result of this.

Posted by: Chris Lund | Apr 16, 2014 3:52:45 PM

Ok, Westlaw fans:

Is there a good tutorial such that, by the end of it, one has solid grasp of what WL can do?

I used to be great with WL, but time has atrophied my skills. Periodically, I try to pick it up again, but I haven't found past WL reps very helpful. I'd like to learn it the way someone learns a really cool app - not literally, but the fluency with all kinds of tricks, databases, and features not immediately obvious. Whenever I've sat down with a rep (not for several years, to be fair), I get the "here's how you do this, and how you do that" overview, but this leaves me with little sense of its WL's vast capabilities.

I'm thinking something like the research exercises one finds in a good legal research text. Any thoughts? I could use a solution for Lexis, too - which I gave up on as well. Thanks.


Posted by: Adam | Apr 16, 2014 3:31:45 PM

Me, earlier today, upon getting the screen telling me that Westlaw Classic will be deactivated in July 2014: "Oh, [expletive deleted]."

I'm with you.

Posted by: Michael J.Z. Mannheimer | Apr 16, 2014 3:20:18 PM

Matt, et al.,

West is evidently committed to closing down Classic, so adapting to Next will be essential. There are good ways on Next to do many of the things you've struggled with in the past. For example, using "adv:" as a preface before your search will cause it to run as Boolean. Or, for example, you can browse to a specific source (like Harvard Law Review), or search for that same source by name. The techniques are just different than on Classic, so you'll need to learn a few new tricks.

For all of you Prawfs out there who want to buff up your Next skills, give your research/reference/faculty services librarians a call or email. They can give you a quick rundown of the best Next tips. (Matt: your librarians are at: http://www.slu.edu/school-of-law-home/law-library/contact-the-law-library)

Posted by: Lee Ryan | Apr 16, 2014 2:28:59 PM

WL Next has all the functionality of WL plus a whole lot more. Big tip: if you want WL Next to replicate exactly the boolean searches you would get in Classic, type "adv:" before your search, e.g. "adv: ju(posner) and atleast4(efficien!)"

Posted by: no affiliation with Westlaw | Apr 16, 2014 1:50:00 PM

wow, suprised the comments are so negative. I just start my search with "adv:" and then Boolean to my heart's delight. I would say I do that 90%+ of the time. works great. sometimes I do a more google type search to see if it can get me an answer quickly, or when my research is stuck. I've had mixed success but it is a helpful additional tool.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 16, 2014 1:45:00 PM

I concur. I just used Next for the first time. And I while I found what I was looking for easily enough, reading it online was unpleasant.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Apr 16, 2014 1:39:24 PM

Could have written your post myself, Matt, virtually word for word. Tried Next when it first came on the scene, and couldn't make head nor tail of what I was getting back in the results. Immediately reverted to Classic. Yesterday, I got the same notice screen. Ugh.

Posted by: Joe Miller | Apr 16, 2014 1:28:11 PM

I'm with you, Matt.

Posted by: Alex Long | Apr 16, 2014 1:28:00 PM

I hate Westlaw Next with a passion for any deeper research than just finding a case, and even at that, it sucks. I can put in the leading case name, all spelled correctly, and not only is that case not the first result, it is often not in the list of results. I understand that for a group of lawyers and law students that are familiar with Google that this searching method is more familiar, but the reason that Google search is popular is that is generally works well.

In addition, I find that students are often worse at finding things through Next, since they give up after the first initial search. If it isn't there (without even applying the filters on the left), they assume nothing like this exists. In the effort to make searches easier, Westlaw has actually made finding the right material harder.

Posted by: anonandoff | Apr 16, 2014 1:18:19 PM

Westlaw Next is awful. I am switching to Lexis. Are you reading this, Westlaw?

Posted by: Urska | Apr 16, 2014 1:02:43 PM

I hate Westlaw Next. I am wondering if I should switch to Lexis when Westlaw stops running its classic version in July.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 16, 2014 12:53:31 PM

Westlaw Next is pretty awful. And there are things I get in Classic that I think just won't work in Next (like patents in spreadsheet form). Yuck.

Posted by: Michael Risch | Apr 16, 2014 12:39:35 PM


Posted by: Miriam Baer | Apr 16, 2014 12:28:17 PM

I agree, Matt! Hopefully WestlawNext improved since our early attempts.

Posted by: Adam Kolber | Apr 16, 2014 12:23:29 PM

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