Using Westlaw Next Folders to separate the wheat from the chaff

October 7, 2013

Law school blog 5At some point in your legal career, you will be given a research project where you will be required to read dozens or even hundreds of results of a single search. And, with a large search result, it may take you several sessions to work your way through the results.

To keep the search results organized, you will need a way to separate the relevant cases from the irrelevant. You can accomplish this task by using WestlawNext’s Folders. Each time a relevant case is found, drag it and deposit it in a Folder created specifically for this research.

First, you need to create a Folder to be used exclusively for the research. Start by clicking on the Folders link in the upper-right-hand corner of WestlawNext.

 Monster 1a

Next, create a new Folder by selecting the “New” button on the upper-left-hand side of the screen.

 Monster 1b


Once the new Folder is named, you will need to select it as your primary folder. Click on the folder currently displayed on WestlawNext on the upper-right hand corner of the screen, and then click the “Change Folder” button.

Monster 1c

Then find the new folder and select it.

As your research continues, you may find the need to add additional folders to assist in organizing your research. By following the steps above you can create sub folders within your research folders by selecting the previous folder and creating the new one while the folder is selected.

From this point on, you will be able to drag each relevant case you find into a folder. And, once you save a case to a folder, the case is yours as long as you have your WestlawNext password; meaning, you will never need to rerun a search to retrieve the case because Folders never expire. Plus, documents saved to Folders are automatically updated, including Key Cite information, and always reflect the current state of the law.

Finally, if you are doing research for a professor (or as part of a group of law students), you can share your folders so that the professor will be able to see the material you find and deem relevant for the research.

 Monster 1d

In my next post, I’ll cover how to use WestlawNext to keep your thoughts organized when reviewing a large search result.