Monday, April 6, 2009

Summer Access to Lexis and Westlaw

Over the summer, LexisNexis and Westlaw traditionally cut off access to student passwords, as law students will use their summer firm’s commercial Lexis and Westlaw accounts. However, students with academic research needs (summer classes, moot court/journal work, research assistantship, etc.) may request an extension of their passwords.

LexisNexis passwords may be extended for the following “academic purposes”:
  • "class preparation and assignments;
  • research associated with moot court or law review/law journal;
  • research associated with pursuing a grant or scholarship;
  • service as a research assistant to a professor (either paid or unpaid) ;
  • an unpaid internship, externship or clinic position for school credit"
Request a summer extension for LexisNexis at

Westlaw passwords may be extended for the following purposes:
  • “Summer law school classes;
  • Law Review and Journal work;
  • Project for a professor;
  • Moot Court;
  • Unpaid non-profit public interest internship/externship or pro bono work required for graduation
Request a summer extension for Westlaw at

Please read the terms of the extension carefully, and abide by them this summer! Commercial research on an educational password violates the terms of the extension, and may result in termination of access or collection of the research charges which would have been incurred on a commercial password.

Remember that Duke Law students also have access to several popular low-cost alternatives to LexisNexis and Westlaw, including Loislaw ( and Casemaker ( As law firms search for ways to reduce operating costs, knowledge of alternatives can set you apart from the crowd. If you missed the recent Research Refresher on Free & Low-Cost Legal Research, check out the materials, archived at