Magazine article Information Today

WestlawNext: Bringing the Human Touch to Search

Magazine article Information Today

WestlawNext: Bringing the Human Touch to Search

Article excerpt

FEATURED PRODUCT

On Feb. 1, Westlaw unveiled its latest innovation at the start of LegalTech New York.

Billed as "the next generation in legal research," WestlawNext builds upon Westlaw's 138-year legacy in legal editorial analysis and technological innovation. This new state-of-the-art legal research solution with a clean, modern interface and the power of new search functionality didn't come easy. It took 5 years and hundreds of people to create this proprietary search system, according to Mike Dahn, vice president of WestlawNext product development. The development team worked with customers and legal professionals to create and apply intelligent tools to get casework done smarter and faster.

"This is one of the most significant investments we have made in our history," says Peter Warwick, president and CEO of Legal at Thomson Reuters. And despite the complexity of the mission and the pressures of an uneasy economy, "WestlawNext was delivered according to specifications, on budget, and on time." The new research system is taking technology as far as it could go so it can last for many years to come, he says. The system is clean, flexible, and intuitive so users can find all relevant content on one interface and customize their displays with one click.

Dahn focuses on the anxiety-ridden process that legal professionals face: "How do I know when my research is done?" A user wants to find everything to make sure the research is thorough and complete. A user can type a query into a box and have results returned with those keywords. But WestlawNext goes beyond simple discovery and conducts more research on the relevant keywords to give users a broader scope. "Just type in the jurisdiction," says Dahn, "and the federated search returns results that are more inclusive and better ranked. …

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