I know, I know: most lawyers don’t view Thomson West as a benefactor to the legal profession. Mention West to a lawyer, and you’re likely to get an earful about how the company messed up a Westlaw bill once again, or how it insists on charging for paper updates for volumes that have long since been mulched.
That’s why I was as surprised as anyone when I learned that West publishes a number of high-quality, free print newsletters. I subscribe to Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing, a print newsletter for legal research and writing instructors and law firm and law school librarians.
While practicing lawyers won’t have much use for pieces like Laptops in the Classroom: Pondering the Possibilities, many of the articles—such as Topic Sentences—Potentially Brilliant Moments of Synthesis and Finding and Using Statistics in Legal Writing, to name a few—contain valuable information for practitioners. The articles aren’t a slog, either: most are only a few well-written pages long.
West offers three other free print newsletters that also look interesting: GlobalLaw Quarterly, Practice Innovations and Law Librarians in the New Millenium (although, somehow, I don’t think West had Above the Law’s Law Librarian Hotties contest, male and female divisions, in mind). All four print newsletters are also available online in .pdf format.