Biglaw, Law Schools, Libraries / Librarians, Westlaw

Westlaw Red-Flags Law Librarians

Law librarians got miffed at Westlaw this week, after the legal research company sent out the following advertisement via e-mail:
offensive westlaw ad.jpg
Law librarians across the land were appalled and voiced their displeasure on this list-serv, among other places. From a librarian at a large southern law firm:

[Apparently] the folks at West think that attorneys shouldn’t know their librarians’ names. I’d love to see ATL’s snarky humor sticking it to West (or, Hell, stick it to us law librarians if you think we’re being too sensitive.)

We don’t think you’re being too sensitive. In fact, we have a great appreciation for law librarians.
We know that law librarians are hot. We know that librarianship is a good career alternative. We know that law library staffers save lives, literally. And we think knowing their names is not something to mock.
While the folks at LexisNexis are doing a little happy dance, what does Westlaw have to say for itself?


After the online protests, Westlaw-owner Thomson Reuters issued an apology. From the Library Journal:

These reactions prompted an apologetic reply to the list from Anne Ellis, senior director, library relations, Thomson Reuters, who acknowledged that the message was a mistake. “I’ve talked to the people behind the e-mail and can assure you that they meant no harm.” she wrote. “They now understand that the marketing piece was in poor taste and I have been assured that this will not happen again.”
“It’s important that you understand that this does not reflect in any way how West feels about and values librarians,” Ellis insisted, adding diplomatically, “I’m on a first-name basis with more librarians that I can count, and I’m proud to know every one of them.”

But our librarian tipster tells us it didn’t impress:

West sent a kind of luke-warm apology from Anne Ellis (Senior Library Relations Manager) saying that they didn’t mean any harm by the ad, but that they’re sorry it went out.

We’re hoping LexisNexis does something inane soon, because we feel badly about picking on Westlaw twice in one week.
“West thinks you shouldn’t know your librarian’s name” [Law-Lib listserv discussion]
West Marketing Message Urges Bypass of Law Librarians [Library Journal]
The Library Wastes Time [The LiS Kid]
Don’t Tick Off the Mess Cook, the Supply Sergeant, or the Law Librarian [3 Geeks and a Law Blog]
What’s Wrong With Lexis & Thomson Reuters/West? – Desperation [Library Stuff]
Thomson West: Epic PR Fail [Out of the Jungle]
Earlier: Law Library Staffer of the Year Averts Disaster at Brandeis School of Law.

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