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Westlaw Next – now on the iPad

Thomson Reuters has optimized its new legal research system WestlawNext, specifically for iPad users. The new iPad app is available at the App Store free of charge to all current subscribers of WestlawNext. Westlaw  say iPad users will experience all the power, performance and ease of use of WestlawNext, just as if they were at their desktops or laptops, and the app has been designed to take advantage of the iPad’s large display and Multi-Touch screen.

The Westlaw say the app transforms the iPad into a powerful tool for the legal profession. Offering comprehensive features and legal content, the WestlawNext iPad app always reflects the current status of the law and is the only app for legal research that synchronizes with a customer’s desktop and any smartphone. “With the WestlawNext iPad app, attorneys can tap into their research from anywhere and all of their research is synchronized across Web-enabled devices,” said James Jarvis, senior director of Westlaw Product Design. “Whether an attorney is now working on a BlackBerry, an iPhone, a laptop or an iPad, they can continue to build on the research they’ve already started.”

The functionality and increased screen size of the iPad allows users to perform a range of easier tasks such as finding, viewing and sending documents, which many mobile users can perform with smartphones, as well as more complex tasks that have been built into WestlawNext, such as organizing research into folders and conducting advanced searches. Researchers also can use the touch screen to scroll through search results, reorganize their folders and highlight text in documents relevant to their research.

“When we talk with lawyers, most say they wouldn’t do more than five minutes of research on their smartphone,” said Andy Martens, senior vice president of New Product Development for Thomson Reuters, Legal. “The iPad is a device where we can see attorneys comfortably doing an hour or more of comprehensive research.” The introduction of WestlawNext for iPad is another addition to an entire mobile ecosystem that Thomson Reuters Legal is creating for WestlawNext subscribers. “The WestlawNext iPad app is the latest example of an ongoing commitment to enhance the capabilities of WestlawNext and fundamentally improve the research experience for legal professionals,” Martens adds. “Today, we are providing our customers the research tools they need to create a more desirable research experience, increase their productivity and provide the confidence that their research is as complete and thorough as it can possibly be.”

http://west.thomson.com/westlawnext/useit/mobile/ipad.aspx

One reply on “Westlaw Next – now on the iPad”

I've researched this service and Westlaw has tried to pitch it to me. They were unsuccessful. While the new toys that come with this apparent improvement sound neat enough, there are a few factors that weigh against it: (1) it costs extra money on top of what lawyers are already paying for Westlaw, (2) normal Westlaw access on the iPad is currently nonfunctional, unless you google the problem and realize there's a manual way to work around it, and (3) these “improvements” offered through WestlawNext are the only way to not have to deal with the manual work-around I mentioned in (2), whether you want them or not.
This is not the way to win over new customers or keep your current ones, in my humble opinion. Right now, I'm already paying for a service that has failed to properly adapt to a significant societal change in technology (e.g., web browsing on tablets like the iPad). Rather than adapt to the times as many other companies have, Westlaw is telling me: (a) we don't care about the problem you have in accessing our service on your new device even though you're already paying for it, and (b) if you really want to do on your iPad the same thing you're paying to do on every other computer you own, we want you to pay more money to get these extra toys we've designed. Who do they think they're fooling? I already know what I want and expect out of Westlaw. I'm not going to be bamboozled by shiny objects that supposedly make it better, when all I really want to do is sort through cases I can read and then put into a motion. I could do that before. I should be able to keep doing it in the future.
No thanks. Adapt or die, Westlaw.

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