Westlaw is Back — In Name, Anyway

Last May, I reported the imminent demise of Westlaw. It wasn’t that the legal research service was going away. But as Thomson Reuters’ next-generation platform WestlawNext became the company’s primary focus, the company decided to phase out the older platform, which it by then referred to as Westlaw Classic.

In my post, I cited William Peacock’s joking suggestion that WestlawNext would henceforth be called WestlawOnly.

Turns out, that wasn’t far from the truth. With only one platform remaining, the “Next” in the name became somewhat redundant. Now, Thomson Reuters has announced that, as of February 2016, WestlawNext will be renamed Westlaw.

In light of Westlaw Classic’s retirement, WestlawNext will be renamed Thomson Reuters Westlaw in February 2016.

The WestlawNext name change will not impact the quality of service and expertise you trust from Thomson Reuters.

In a brief FAQ, Thomson Reuters said that subscribers will be able to log on from either the current WestlawNext web address, next.westlaw.com, or from the westlaw.com address (after 12/31/2015). Any saved WestlawNext shortcuts or links will still work, it said.

For those of us old enough to remember the New Coke/Coke Classic¬†fiasco of the 1980s, it is hard not to want to draw associations. But whereas Coca-Cola eventually returned to its classic formula, there’s no going back to Westlaw Classic.