WestlawNext New Subscriber Checklist for Independent Law Firms

March 2, 2012

You recently subscribed to WestlawNext, or received a temporary free password to try it out.

What’s next?  Your firm has a small technical support team–perhaps none at all–and it’s hard to find open training time and space that larger law firms enjoy for implementing a new legal research system.   Here’s a checklist to help you get a head start on your new legal research platform:

  1. Download and share a start-up guide.
  2. Bookmark the Small Law Firm Resource Center, where you’ll have easy access to the free technical, training and research support that your legal business needs.  Also check out gneeral learning & support at WestlawNext.com.
  3. Difficult as it seems, block some training time on your calendar (access the training schedule through the link, or get to it from the Small Law Resource Center that you just bookmarked above).  One hour of training can save you many hours of time as you start your research. Options for small law firms let you select a live, personal training, a live online group webinar, a recorded webinar, or a modular self-paced program.
  4. Take it for a spin.  After training, try out the basics such as:
    • Browse the content and tools in the tabs on your home screen. You’ll access content by jurisdiction, practice area or title (rather than memorizing database IDs).
    • Search something!  Anything.  See the results of WestSearch technology in action.
    • Click a key number to explore the West Key Number System on WestlawNext.
    • Make a note on a document for future reference, viewable from a folder or a search results list.
    • Use WestlawNext integrated with your other Westlaw tools, like Westlaw Drafting Assistant, West Case Notebook and others.  Integration points are automatically installed in these other products, so try out the improved functions like searching WestlawNext from within Microsoft Word or sending a case from WestlawNext into West Case Notebook.
  5. Set up your personal folder structure to share, organize and search your WestlawNext research as you like.
  6. Install the iPad app and bookmark WestlawNext on your mobile Web device for access anytime, anywhere—even offline.
  7. Subscribe to the WestlawNext Tip of the Week newsletter, and set your email preferences.  This is the easiest and most direct way to stay on top of new developments.  Emails let you know of promotions, surveys, and complementary print and software updates.
  8. Socialize.  By following @WestlawSmallLaw on Twitter and joining the Westlaw Insider blog, you’ll be the first to know about thought-leadership articles, user tips…and a few casual themes to enrich your day like the amusing Headnote of the Day, Verdict of the Week, and Today in Legal History.  Community Groups on Westlaw Insider also let you network and ask questions of other attorneys in your field.