2L SA's: Get Certified?

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dougroberts
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2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby dougroberts » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:12 pm

Is there any value in being "Westlaw Certified" or "Lexis Certified" for 2L SA positions?
More specifically, will it help with your assignments and to get an offer?

TheFriendlyBarber
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:13 pm

dougroberts wrote:Is there any value in being "Westlaw Certified" or "Lexis Certified" for 2L SA positions?
More specifically, will it help with your assignments and to get an offer?


Save your money. Get tested instead.

Renzo
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Renzo » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:14 pm

I thought you meant "certified" as in mentally unfit; like "you'd have to be certifiably insane to do this job."

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Ahhhnold
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Ahhhnold » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:18 pm

This Westlaw/Lexis certification deal sounds like the 3rd grade construction paper "awards" my LR board gives out for quality editing. They said to put 'em on the resume...

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Kohinoor
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:27 pm

dougroberts wrote:Is there any value in being "Westlaw Certified" or "Lexis Certified" for 2L SA positions?
More specifically, will it help with your assignments and to get an offer?

lol

truevines
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby truevines » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:48 pm

dougroberts wrote:Is there any value in being "Westlaw Certified" or "Lexis Certified" for 2L SA positions?
More specifically, will it help with your assignments and to get an offer?


I don't really know. I am a Lexis-certified 2L.

All I did for the certification was to complete a 10-question quiz, which asked you to look for cases, Shepardize cases, locate specific law review articles, etc.

With decent google skills, everyone would get certified.

What's important is your work product based on the materials you find.

dougroberts
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby dougroberts » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:10 pm

OK, seems like Westlaw/Lexis certification is worthless, just a marketing gimmick. Thanks

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itzjulz
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby itzjulz » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:34 am

Renzo wrote:I thought you meant "certified" as in mentally unfit; like "you'd have to be certifiably insane to do this job."


"I am very committed."
"You should be committed."

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:29 pm

lol, I did those for 1L, my school specifically told me to leave them off my resume because they are a joke.

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annapavlova
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby annapavlova » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:03 pm

I'm pretty sure most firms will make you undergo some sort of training for both anyway to make sure you don't piss away their money.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:05 pm

annapavlova wrote:I'm pretty sure most firms will make you undergo some sort of training for both anyway to make sure you don't piss away their money.


Schools: Teach you how to use Westlaw and Lexis.
Firms: Teach you how to use Westlaw or Nexis cost effectively.

Aqualibrium
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
annapavlova wrote:I'm pretty sure most firms will make you undergo some sort of training for both anyway to make sure you don't piss away their money.


Schools: Teach you how to use Westlaw and Lexis.
Firms: Teach you how to use Westlaw or Nexis cost effectively.



I thought so too, but it's not really the case. Pretty much every good firm has either an unlimited plan, or a plan that it would really be impossible for one user to run up the bill on.

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Ahhhnold
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Ahhhnold » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:25 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
annapavlova wrote:I'm pretty sure most firms will make you undergo some sort of training for both anyway to make sure you don't piss away their money.


Schools: Teach you how to use Westlaw and Lexis.
Firms: Teach you how to use Westlaw or Nexis cost effectively.



I thought so too, but it's not really the case. Pretty much every good firm has either an unlimited plan, or a plan that it would really be impossible for one user to run up the bill on.


What kind of plan would make it impossible to run up the bill aside from an unlimited one? Also, do most V100s have unlimited plans?

Anonymous User
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:35 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aqualibrium
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:52 pm

One firm I worked at last summer had Lexis. I didn't have to specify the search mode; just entered the client number. They paid a flat rate regardless of how many searches or how long you were on. Hense the term unlimited plan.

The other firm I worked for had Westlaw. With that you had to choose either per search or hourly at the start of a session. I ran a lot of searches one week under per search, and was worried that I had run up one of those huge research bills that everyone is so afraid of. I talked to the librarian about it, and she told me that regardless of what type of search I run, the firm has a negotiated flat fee with Westlaw, and nothing I did could really push that fee one way or the other. The only real issue would have been if I started buying a bunch of things outside the plan.
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ahhhnold
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Ahhhnold » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:04 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I thought so too, but it's not really the case. Pretty much every good firm has either an unlimited plan, or a plan that it would really be impossible for one user to run up the bill on.


This is the first time I've heard of an unlimited plan, and I'm at a V10.

There are different ways of billing in Westlaw/Lexis, which you can specify when you start your session. You might be thinking of one of those modes as "the unlimited plan," but most of the times it's not as efficient as the "per search" mode, if you know how to save money per search.


One firm I worked at last summer had Lexis. I didn't have to specify the search mode; just entered the client number. They paid a flat rate regardless of how many searches or how long you were on. Hense the term unlimited plan.

The other firm I worked for had Westlaw. With that you had to choose either per search or hourly at the start of a session. I ran a lot of searches one week under per search, and was worried that I had run up one of those huge research bills that everyone is so afraid of. I talked to the librarian about it, and she told me that regardless of what type of search I run, the firm has a negotiated flat fee with Westlaw, and nothing I did could really push that fee one way or the other. The only real issue would have been if I started buying a bunch of things outside the plan.


Is it generally Westlaw or Lexis, or do firms ever sign up for plans for both?

Aqualibrium
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:17 pm

Ahhhnold wrote:
Is it generally Westlaw or Lexis, or do firms ever sign up for plans for both?


I can't speak for every firm everywhere, but, in my experience, firms choose either one or the other. That's why all the things Lexis and Westlaw do to get us hooked are a bit silly to me. When you work at a firm, you don't have a say in which database they use; you just use whatever they are signed up for. The firm I worked for that had Lexis had just switched from Westlaw when I got there that summer. Apparently, a lot of attorneys were kicking and screaming because they liked Westlaw better, still didn't stop the firm from picking the company that gave them the best price.

LawSchoolWannaBe
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Re: 2L SA's: Get Certified?

Postby LawSchoolWannaBe » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:25 pm

Just because the firm has an "unlimited plan" or pays a "flat fee" doesn't mean your searches won't cost someone. Many firms (all firms that have unlimited/flat fee plans?) generally divvy up the monthly (or whatever their billing cycle is) costs to their clients based on the percentage of usage that client got compared to the whole. So if you go crazy researching for a case, the case you are working on may get stuck with a large legal research tab.




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