how to become better on Lexis

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
yellowjacket2012

Bronze
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:01 pm

how to become better on Lexis

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:51 pm

Does anyone here know of a resource that I can read - or a system that I can adopt, that will enable me to become a much quicker/more efficient searcher on Lexis? (I am convinced that the legal research I do for my firm can be done in a third of the time I take, if I only knew how to use the "best" search terms). I've used some tips like "start from the abstract" and go narrow, or the other way - go for the bullseye and abstract out - but this is all anecdotal and neither system seems to work for me too well.

I know the question might sound like there's no answer, other than "get smarter" - but I've used some quirky "systems" for typing faster, reading faster, etc. etc. - and they've all worked really well. Hell I've even used something that improved my short-term memory drastically, although I don't remember what that system was called (hah).

If your law school, or firm, has any resource available to become a quicker researcher - I would really appreciate it. Many of my assignments have very short deadlines (2-3 hours), and I've often come up short - only to discover that certain case law is on point a day later.

FLS08

New
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:47 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby FLS08 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:14 pm

Call the Lexis rep after your first few attempts and have them tweak the search query for you. Also consult someone who is better at research and see how they construct searches. Other than that, it's just practice practice practice.

User avatar
General Tso

Gold
Posts: 2272
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby General Tso » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:37 pm

they have tutorials

User avatar
kimber1028

Bronze
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby kimber1028 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:17 am

I highly suggest the tutorials. For better searches, there's a list at the bottom of the search page with terms and connectors you can use. The Lexis attorneys available through Live Help are really efficient and can often find what you're looking for if you ask. If you have a statute or case on point at the beginning of your research, sometimes the best way to find additional authorities is to Shepardize the citation you already have.
Last edited by kimber1028 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

yellowjacket2012

Bronze
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:01 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:16 am

So my understanding is that the helpline (1-800-atlexus) or whatever, is an attorney on the other end. I'm presuming they're employed by Lexis. They must be research monsters. Maybe I should've spent my 1L SA working for Lexis, lol - oh wait, they would've rejected me.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


User avatar
king3780

Bronze
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:12 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby king3780 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:29 am

amyLAchemist wrote:This isn't directly answering your question, and it might be because my Lexis/WL skills are meh, but I find the annotated codes extremely useful for coming up with relevant case law fast.

I second this. Useannotations following codes, rules and statutes... and once you get that first case or two on point it all falls into place.

User avatar
leobowski

Silver
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:11 am

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby leobowski » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:38 pm

It all fell into place for me when I figured out how to use West's key system along with the search connectors. It was more of a self-taught process for me, but the tutorials may be helpful for you.

ak362

Bronze
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:24 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby ak362 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:03 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:This isn't directly answering your question, and it might be because my Lexis/WL skills are meh, but I find the annotated codes extremely useful for coming up with relevant case law fast.


+1. Also, the secondary law encyclopedias are great, as well as state law digests (e.g. the D.C. Digest has been tremendously helpful). CJS and AmJur can also be useful, as well as ALR -- though if you're restricted to one jurisdiction, then less so (unless you're looking for persuasive authority).

I personally like doing book research before online research, but maybe that's just me...? (CJS, etc. are on Westlaw, but some local secondary materials aren't... plus, easier to flip pages than to use Book Browse on Lexis/Westlaw).

User avatar
Jarndyce

Bronze
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 3:29 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby Jarndyce » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:33 pm

I greatly prefer Lexis over Westlaw, but I always start with a digest or ALR. Sometimes, you will get some good cases. Usually not.

Sometimes, the best thing to do is just start typing search terms and hope you get lucky. Use the "!" feature, which gives you all the words starting with a phrase (example, "tort!" would get you tort, torts, tortious, etc.). Also use the w/ feature, which gives you all the cases which have phrases within x words of each other (example, "breach! w/2 contract!" gets you breach of contract, breaches the contract, contract breach, breaching of the contracts, etc.). These two functions are really helpful.

Maybe you knew all of this already, but if not, I guarantee that those two features will greatly improve your Lexis efficiency.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


yellowjacket2012

Bronze
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:01 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:26 pm

Does anyone know of a superior step #1 than Chisum for patent related stuff?

User avatar
underdawg

Silver
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby underdawg » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:20 pm

it's not like i'm very good, but unless it's a proposition that i already know is definitely true, i always google first.

i usually come up with good first search or first locate terms, so i know that any relevant case would have to be in there somewhere. what do you guys do to narrow it down further? once i just scanned through the search term results of 100+ cases because it was a federal survey. after that, it seems that i just end up using "/s" or "/p"

when i call westlaw, they never have any better idea than me. and they are usually obsessed with using fancy connectors that never help me out. treatises, when available, definitely are good for finding good cites. the only time westlaw reps help are when i call with a "um so where's the ____ feature?"

i guess this was mostly a rant. also what is frustrating is that federal cases often have the best summaries of a certain state's law--sometimes NY state courts don't even bother reciting a bunch of stuff because it is their own law they're using while SDNY often has a paragraph or two summary of NY state law. but i think we're supposed to keep costs down or something.
Last edited by underdawg on Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
underdawg

Silver
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby underdawg » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:23 pm

General Tso wrote:they have tutorials

the tutorials are aimed at getting you hooked on feature$ that really are often useless

they don't headnote the more obscure cases for example
Last edited by underdawg on Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posner

Bronze
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: how to become better on Lexis

Postby Posner » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:30 pm

100% agree with underdawg. I've never found the reps to be terribly helpful except for academic assignments. It can't hurt as a last resort, but I wouldn't waste much, if any, time with them.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!




Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.