John DiGilio Practical Insights from Westlaw Practitioner Insights
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By John DiGilio


The new WestlawNext platform came with many departures from the former Westlaw to which users were accustomed, including the ability to create content-focused tabs for easier searching. With the introduction of Practitioner Insights, the folks at Westlaw boldly bring that classic functionality back in a fresh way. Practitioner Insights pages are designed to recapture that practice-focused capability and enhance it with modern advances in curation and customised alerting that attorneys need to gain competitive advantage in today’s legal market.


The overwhelming amount of information that is available to researchers online today has shifted the focus away from simply providing access to content.

Current emphasis is placed squarely on more meaningful, high-quality curation and aggregation of the almost countless sources available.

With the launch of Practitioner Insights, the folks at Westlaw meet this shift head on. With exclusive content, expert analysis, and up-to-the-minute alerts, Practitioner Insights provides users with an unparallelled, practice-centric approach to next generation legal research and information.


Classic Westlaw was a database-driven platform offering content sets for every type of material and jurisdiction. To be cost-effective, researchers needed to know which databases would be best for their searches. Choices were governed by the size of the database to be used and often the amount of time that would be spent in it. The larger the database, the more expensive that search could ultimately be.

WestlawNext changed all of that with its single search across all content sets at one simplified and reasonable price. With the advent of "Next", Westlaw made a strategic transition from a database-driven approach to being a document-driven, pay-for-what-you-ultimately-use platform.

Practice-Specific Information & Insights

Though well-received by most researchers, WestlawNext lacked a few of the bells and whistles for which its predecessor was known.

One of the things users clamoured for in the new platform was a way to limit the universe of content being searched to a practice-focused subset. This is where the new Westlaw Practitioner Insights comes in.  

Each tightly focused Practitioner Insights page is "owned" by an editor who is experienced in that practice area and who is further supported by a dedicated team of attorney-editors.

Each Practitioner Insights page is constantly updated, as are its alerting materials. Free from distraction and the distress of not knowing where to go, researchers can work more efficiently.

Exclusive Sources

The specialised content is second to none. In addition to Westlaw's wide array of primary and secondary legal materials, Practitioner Insights provides access to practice area-specific content from exclusive sources such as:

  • Reuters Legal
  • Wolters Kluwer Daily Reports
  • Recently added expert analysis in the form of the new Westlaw Daily Briefings
  • The CQ Roll Call Washington Briefings from Congressional Quarterly.

Expert Analysis

Practitioners will enjoy the Westlaw Daily. Each is crafted and managed by that team of attorney-editors.

These are actual practitioners who are tasked with staying current on the latest developments in a specific practice area and then presenting the most important of those developments with full context and analysis.

Also worth noting is the alliance between Congressional Quarterly and Westlaw through which the CQ Roll Call Washington Briefings are provided to Practitioner Insights users. Whether it's breaking news on proposed rulemaking or providing insights into recently enacted laws and regulations, the analysts at CQ Roll Call approach their reporting from the perspective of the legal practitioner.

An Enhanced User Experience

Westlaw Practitioner Insights is designed to enhance the experience of anyone using WestlawNext.

  • Attorneys and researchers looking for a more practice- or topic-focused approach will appreciate the ability to access the massive Westlaw database in this efficiently focused manner
  • Practitioners who want to stay in the know will enjoy the expert analysis and alerting that is unique to this latest offering from one of the industry's leading information providers.

Full Review

The full FreePint Report: Product Review of Westlaw Practitioner Insights is now available to those with a FreePint Subscription.

Articles in series:

FreePint Subscribers can log in to read about FreePint's research into the main information suppliers to the legal information profession in UK Legal Market Research: Vendors, and How They Are Perceived.

Editor's Note: Beyond Aggregation

FreePint readers may be interested to read more about news products in our FreePint Topic Series: Beyond Aggregation, which ran from October to November 2013. You can still register your interest to receive a free copy of the FreePint Report: Buyer's Guide on News Content published in early December.

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