in the words of small law firm attorneys.
It’s not uncommon for Thomson Reuters Westlaw customers who have left for a Westlaw alternative to soon come back. We asked small firm attorneys who left for our main competitor and came back to Westlaw to explain why.
Nothing unnerved small firm attorneys more than the prospect of missing something important.
“I swear that I’m not getting the correct results [with the competitor]. I’ll do a search, and I think that I should get 200 cases, and I’ll get three.”
“[With the competitor] ... I don’t think there was a single attorney in this firm that ever felt like, ‘Wow, I know for sure.’ ... To have that feeling like we’ve written a brief and we’re not 100 percent confident in it, that was hard.”
“We have an ethical obligation to make sure we’re using what we need. ... I have to know that I'm getting adequate research. [The competitor] is not adequate.”
Many customers attested to the amount of wasted time, effort, and “finagling,” as one attorney put it, the alternative product required, noting Westlaw was much more intuitive to use.
“[By switching back to Westlaw] ... I honestly think it shaved 25 percent off the time I was spending doing research.”
“[With Westlaw] The cases that come up are on point versus with [the competitor] ... I am having to comb through several cases to find that case.”
“Westlaw is much easier to access all the things that you actually need and actually use. It’s much, much more intuitive. It seemed we were losing productivity.”
“I don’t know how to really articulate it very well other than to say that you can do the work better, faster on Westlaw.”
These small firm attorneys came to realize that the value Westlaw provides extends far beyond what’s on a monthly invoice.
“Maybe the [competitor’s] bill itself was less, but at the end of the day we were losing money because we were winding up writing off associates’ work because they were taking longer on average to complete the same tasks.”
“Westlaw’s product is … easier to use. It’s more intuitive. It’s more organized. It’s a clearly and substantially better product in every way. In fact, I don’t even trust my search results on [the competitor].”
“Westlaw is clearly the superior service.”
Some customers indicated that the switch to the competitor’s product resulted in unhappy colleagues and an unpleasant work environment.
“[With the competitor] I know that everybody was extraordinarily frustrated with the lack of trial court documents, briefing, and that sort of thing.”
“[With the competitor] it was hard getting questions answered. I feel like now [with Westlaw back] I’m not having any problems. If something comes up, call them, boom, things are fixed, worked out right away.”
“I’m a manager, so if my team is happy I’m happy because I have peace of mind that they’re going to stay put and like the tools that we give them to do their job.”
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