Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dude, Where's My Lexis? (Or Westlaw?)

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls who did not request a summer extension to their Westlaw and/or LexisNexis passwords are starting to receive some unpleasant news when they try to log in. June 1 is generally the cutoff date for educational passwords which are not extended for academic or non-profit purposes. In some cases, access to the full range of research databases will be reduced to only employment-related sources; in other cases, users will see a message like “You have exceeded your monthly usage allotment” and be denied access to the research system.

Never fear! If you meet one of the many criteria for a summer password extension, it’s not too late to request one now. For either site, you will need to log in to the homepage with your existing account and simply look for information about summer extensions.
  • LexisNexis: Log in to http://lawschool.lexis.com and the welcome screen should present a link to extend your password for the summer. (If this information is not readily displayed on your welcome screen, it should also be linked under “Manage My Account.”)
Please read the exceptions carefully to ensure that you qualify. Both Lexis and Westlaw allow summer extensions to students or recent graduates who work as research assistants, take summer classes, participate on law reviews or journals, or would like to use the services to aid in bar exam study. The services vary on their exceptions for summer internships (Westlaw allows an exception for an "unpaid internship with a nonprofit organization," while Lexis allows exceptions for an "internship or externship for school credit").

Remember that any commercial/for-profit research conducted 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. If you don’t meet one of the academic or non-profit exceptions to extend your educational subscription to Lexis or Westlaw, expect access to be fully restored for you at the beginning of August.

If you experience any problems when extending your passwords, or for questions related to your Westlaw or LexisNexis IDs, please Ask a Librarian.