Over the summer Westlaw introduced a new legal research system called WestlawNext. Faculty members have access to this new system now and students will be able to access it beginning on September 13. The new platform has a simplified search interface and is designed to return more relevant results based on West’s new search algorithm. The biggest change with WestlawNext is that you don’t have to select a database to begin a search. Now you just type your search into the single search box and then select a jurisdiction. In other words, you don’t have to decide whether to search in Illinois State Cases, Illinois Statutes Annotated or Illinois Law and Practice before you begin.
You still have the option of limiting your search to cases, regulations or other sources of information at the initial stage if you would like. Further, the new platform is designed for you to be able to enter your search terms without deciding between a Natural Language search or a Terms & Connectors search. You can simply type in your search terms, or you can choose to enter a Terms & Connectors search and the system will recognize it as such. Because you don’t have to limit your search to a specific database or resource before you being, your search results will contain both primary and secondary sources. Search results are divided by the type of source: cases, statutes, regulations, law review articles, etc.
Come learn about WestlawNext at the Lunchtime Learning Series on Monday Sept. 13 at noon in Room 608. Our Westlaw representative Michael Bunting will be here to give you a demo of this exciting new tool.