Monday, April 19, 2010

Summer Access to Lexis and Westlaw

Over the summer, LexisNexis and Westlaw traditionally cut off access to student passwords, since summer associates will use their firm’s accounts for client research. However, students with academic research needs (summer classes, moot court/journal work, a research assistant job, etc.) may request an automatic extension of their passwords for the summer months.

LexisNexis passwords may be extended from June 1 - August 1 for the following "academic purposes":
  • Research skill improvement, such as improving research efficiency and sharpening your area of law research skills as you prepare for practice
  • Summer classes or course work
  • Moot court, law review, or journal research
  • Work as a professor's research assistant
  • Internship or externship for school credit
  • Study for the bar exam
Request a summer extension for LexisNexis at Students who do not request an extension of their summer passwords will still have access to a limited menu of employment-related research resources over the summer, with full access resuming on August 1.

Westlaw passwords may be extended for the following purposes:
  • Journal/law review work
  • Research assistance for a professor
  • Summer classes
  • Unpaid internship with a nonprofit organization
  • Bar exam study
  • Employment-related research
Request a summer extension for Westlaw at (sign in and click the graphic labeled "Need your Westlaw password this summer?")

Please read the terms of these extensions 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.