Using LexisNexis and Westlaw

*Note-My new posting schedule is for Saturday’s posts to be about law school or law and Sunday to be about goals.  Monday through Friday will be about frugality but there will probably often be some overlap in the weekday and weekend subject areas.

If you’re in law school you probably know all about LexisNexis and Westlaw.  This post is not going to be a tutorial on how to use them.  Instead it is a suggestion to make sure you are getting the rewards out of them.

LexisNexis and Westlaw both have rewards programs that award points for doing various research activities.  They both want to make sure that you become a paying client when you graduate and enticing you to use their research systems now helps ensure that you will keep using them.

There are many different ways to earn points.  The easiest is to do the Fact or Fiction? at LexisNexis and the Daily Trivia at Westlaw.  These are not many points but they don’t take long and since you can do them frequently they add up.  To get the big points though you need to do tutorials or participate in the classes that the reps occasionally have.  These usually provide many more points.  I recently completed a forty-five minute class for 800 points.  That was well worth it since I can redeem those points for a $10 gift certificate and still have points left over.  Of course I also improved my research skills.

I prefer the LexisNexis reward program to the Westlaw one since they have a variety of $5 and $10 gift certificates you can redeem your points for.  This makes it quicker to get value for your points.  Westlaw doesn’t really have smaller items to redeem your points for.  The best choice in their program seems to be using the points for books.  Right now I’m just letting my Westlaw points accumulate and I’ll redeem them for something big when I finish school.  It doesn’t really matter which rewards program you like best since you should participate in both.  Keep your eye out for various opportunities to earn extra points throughout the semester.  These programs are a really good deal since you earn points for stuff you would or should be doing anyway and you gain valuable knowledge at the same time.

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