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RIP Westlaw Classic: Old Blue Retires Aug. 31, 2015

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

Have you embraced WestlawNext, in all its modern, orange-laced glory yet? First introduced on February 8, 2010, the far less complicated, far more modern version of Westlaw will become the one and only version for users on August 31, 2015.

That's T-minus one year for all of you holdouts. But don't worry: Thomson Reuters will walk you through the migration process with online, in-person, or telephone support.

Here's what legal practitioners need to know:

WestlawNext? More Like WestlawOnly

We kid -- a name change doesn't seem to be in the works. But if you're a fan of the old WestLaw, where you had to manually select databases before searching, and where everything was blue-and-white, well, it's time to embrace the newer, better, quicker option.

From Thomson Reuters' announcement:

"Our customers have embraced WestlawNext, benefitting from the many advantages it affords. As the primary Thomson Reuters platform for legal research, WestlawNext also is the focus of our new product development and enhancements, including a new line of collaborative, matter-centric workflow solutions, as well as unique content."

In short? There's no reason to keep maintaining Westlaw Classic when WestlawNext is better, more popular, and more advanced.

You're Not Alone

The announcement mentions that support will be available for those migrating from Classic to WestlawNext. There are also a ton of support resources available on WestlawNext's website, including 24/7 support from an expert via online chat with a reference attorney.

You can also call 1-800-328-0109 to speak with a WestlawNext expert and schedule a training session.

And if you're too busy for formal sessions, there are a number of user guides and training videos available as well.

Finally, if you've never tinkered with WestlawNext, there's a handy comparison chart (PDF) that describes the differences between the old-school Classic and the new-school Next.

Disclosure: Westlaw Classic, WestlawNext, and FindLaw are all owned by Thomson Reuters.

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