subscribers and do not incur any charges or supplemental agreement. Hooray!
It cannot provide answers to every legal issue.
Answers are limited to what West considers to be “black letter law.”
The answers are designed to address issues in individual states.
Typical questions involve:
Identifying legal elements of…
Statute of limitations for…
Judicially defined legal terms
How does it work? Westlaw Answers is powered by a combination of algorithms
developed for the most commonly asked questions. Attorney editors have reviewed
and validated answers.
“Westlaw Answers” starts working when you type your query.
Relevant questions are suggested as “ type ahead” text. The
answer appears above the traditional search results.
be turned on and off with a “ Click”. TR describes this feature as
working like an expert researcher and applies Westlaw’s editorial enhancements
(keynote, topics, synopses, keycite etc.) to supplement search results.
It automatically identifies legal issues during the research session and
suggests additional documents and key numbers which are relevant to the
search session. It analyses the entire research session and not just the
latest query. The research recommendations appear in a box above the
research results and are designated with a “pair of glasses” icon. The
recommendations and can also be viewed in the researchers “search history.”
When you are conducting legal research the result is
enhanced with relevant “snapshots” which pulls information from specialized
Westlaw databases. Snapshots can be provided for:
Legal professionals (attorneys, judges & experts) extracts data from Profiler
Companies extracts data from Company Investigator
Only one snapshot will appear at a time. ( I assume this will be expanded since
clearly many searches could trigger multiple snapshots)
|Judges Snapshot in Right column|
and share their research results using online “folders.” Now Westlaw
offers the ability to analyze the folder’s contents and identify the issues in the cases
and suggest additional relevant cases. A graphical view provides a visual display which allows a
researcher to navigate documents based on each issue.
subscribers. These features will be “no standard cost” events in transactional pricing. (In hourly pricing mode- time online will be charged.) Opening documents
which are suggested by the enhancements will trigger normal document charges,
but there are no charges for primary law documents. Clicking link in snapshots
is a chargeable event for companies and people but not for statutes.
to integrating all of their resources from across TR platforms more seamlessly. It also shows how close
Westlaw’s algorithms come to delivering an AI product with Westlaw
Answers. One has to wonder what will the “Post Watson” version of Westlaw
will deliver? All of the new features respond to the market demand for tools which support efficiency and collaboration. In January Thomson Reuters rebranded itself as “the answer company,” today they delivered their first feature which offers the elegant simplicity of a question and answer pair. Not a full blown AI system but an impressive foreshadowing of the future of legal research.
really impressed that they are finally releasing features without enraging
their subscribers with the prospect of new charges, excluded content or
contract addendum. Is this influence of BloombergBNA’s entry into the legal
market with their “everything’s included” contract model? Does it reflect
a new pricing philosophy from Susan Taylor Martin, President, Thomson Reuters Legal?
Whatever the cause – this new approach will be applauded in the legal