Law School Discussion

using free west & lexis during summer...

Re: using free west & lexis during summer...
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2007, 07:50:42 AM »
When you first begin working, most bigger firms will have the Lexis/Westlaw reps come in and do a training. The reps give you a 1 week free trial for Westlaw/Lexis respectively. Once that runs out, then you begin using the pay account the firm /reps assign you.

Also, once a week the Westlaw rep comes and during that time span anyone can do research on Westlaw for free in the firm library or training room or whatever. This is the same for Lexis. This is the best time to get your research done.

Another little tidbit, when you first begin working, don't use a lot of Lexis/Westlaw after your week expires. Even during your free week, use it to double check your library research. You can find basically everything you need in the library.

Small story: last summer, my post 1L summer, one of the 2Ls clerking there was using the pay Westlaw account before our training. He didn't know that he had chosen the pay-per-minute option and racked up a $1400 research fee for the client. Long story short, the firm worked it out with him and the Westlaw, he got an offer, everything's dandy. Honest mistakes are ok!

Re: using free west & lexis during summer...
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2007, 02:25:47 PM »
Anyone know what the deal is w/ whether or not using ur lawschool account as a lawclerk can get you in trouble?  Mainly I'd like to use it at night while at home just so I can be more efficient while at work (and also to impress partners).  I'm about to enter my post 1L summer so anyone w/ any thoughts/experience w/ this please share.
I wouldn't do it for the reasons others have mentioned.

To add a little more "impressing the partners" by being more efficient won't do you a lot of good.  The partners have an expectation of about how long it will take clerks to do things.  They will cut hours for some work you do already and if you are doing work at home and not billing you are cutting hours too.  If hours are cut by you and the partner your client isn't getting billed and your firm isn't getting paid.  Your billing rate is going to be much lower than the attorneys at the firm so if you bill 1.0 hour to do something that takes someone with experience .3 the amount billed might not be much different.  I know at the firm I work at as a 3L who is about to graduate they make it clear that you shouldn't cut your own hours - if the partner wants to it is their choice. 


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Re: using free west & lexis during summer...
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2007, 04:26:39 PM »
Also, I wouldn't worry about getting things done in the time a partner estimates.  From what I hear, they always underestimate the amount of time a project takes.  As long as you check in, show you're working, etc., you should be fine.  You're a law student, not a research librarian.  You're still learning, you're not familiar with the areas of law you'll be researching.  it's OK to take the time you need to do the project, and if it turns out the project is much more involved, the assigning partner can decide if you should keep going, change your focus, whatever.