The Brooklyn Law School Library has offered students and faculty free access to both Westlaw Classic and Westlaw Next. After the 2010 debut of Westlaw Next, most of our users adapted to the change. However the classic legal tool, Westlaw Classic, remained popular with some users at the BLS Library. 0n August 31, 2015, after more than 40 years of service to the U.S. legal market, Thomson Reuters will retire Westlaw Classic. Recent pop-up messages on Westlaw Classic state the expiration date as September 10, 2015. Not surprisingly, there are complaints about the discontinuation of Westlaw Classic. Change is inevitable but there is help for those who need it with a free Westlaw Next patron access user guide.
The December 2014 issue of AALL Spectrum article, Saying Farewell to a Classic: Saying Farewell to a Classic by Deborah E. Shrager, Reference and Outreach Services Librarian, George Mason University School of Law Library, is worth reading. It provides a readable history of Westlaw and makes the observation that change in legal databases is a constant and that librarians “remain on the front lines of these transitions . . . We have infinite opportunities to step up and demonstrate our value. We may also feel a little bit nostalgic as our traditional resources slowly disappear.” Feel free to ask any questions about Westlaw Next access at the BLS Library Reference Desk by calling (718) 780-7567 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or chatting with us by clicking the link “Ask a Librarian! Click here to chat” on the library home page.