Tuesday morning law librarians around the country began fielding inquiries from lawyers complaining of slow response times and access problems on Westlaw. The disrupted services included: Westlaw, Westlaw Edge, Westlaw UK, Practical Law US and UK, Practical Law Connect, Data Privacy Advisor.
After almost 7 hours of interrupted access and colossal slow response times, Thomson Reuters representations were reaching out to customers to report that systems had been restored to normal.
I reached out to Thomson Reuters executives for an explanation, but they provided only two brief statements addressing the system status. They offered no explanation of what triggered the problems. Thomson Reuters customers have come to expect reliable “uptime” based on past performance. Prior disruptions of Westlaw services have been brief and rare.
TR’s Morning Message:
“We are aware that some customers are experiencing slowness and sporadic errors on Westlaw and Practical Law. We are working diligently to fully restore services as soon as possible and apologize for this inconvenience.”
TR ‘s Late Afternoon Message:
“Services to Westlaw and Practical Law have been fully restored. We sincerely apologize for this service interruption, which impacted the ability of some customers to login or use the applications earlier today.“
Like A 300 Baud Experience Today’s disruption actually reminded me of the online research experience at the dawn of the internet, when “going online” involved attaching a telephone handset to an acoustic coupler which transmitted data over a telephone wire at 300 baud. This morning I was able to get some Westlaw products to open after a long pause and then I watched as a blank screen was slowly “painted” with text. Thankfully lightening speed was restored to Westlaw tonight.