Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

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Ferrisjso
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Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby Ferrisjso » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:58 pm

Pretty self explanatory title. In a Westlaw seminar I was in, someone asked which was better for what tasks, and as expected the question was dodged(more Weslaw talking points, which I can't really blame her for, it's her job but I still wanted to know the answer to the question). I am curious, which one do you prefer and why? Are there certain tasks that you'd prefer one for over the other, is one better for certain practices or law school in general? I'd prefer to predominately use one and would prefer not have to go through the trouble of trial and error.

Note: I just want to let everyone know that I just want to hear answers to the question/discussion of the topic and don't want any trouble with anyone for unrelated reasons.

Hope this is helpful to any other 1L's with similar questions and concerns!

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UVA2B
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby UVA2B » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:10 pm

I used Lexis during 1L legal research, and it worked just fine. Then my firm during the summer after 1L used Westlaw exclusively, so I got used to it and now it's all I use.

There aren't things that are better/worse between the two honestly. But you should pick one that feels intuitive for you (get used to shepardizing in that database, how to navigate and generate search terms that get the results you're looking for, and ultimately feel intuitive for the research you're doing).

It might not seem immediately clear, but these are just two companies competing for market share in legal research, and they're pulling from the same resources. If Lexis seems easier to use, run with it.

Having used both, neither is better than the other for legal research, but your familiarity with one system over the other will make it easier for you to use. Just pick a database and learn it. That will far outweigh any perceived differences in the two services.

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mjb447
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby mjb447 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:13 pm

What you use in the long run may be dictated by what your employer prefers, so you'll want to be familiar with both. The most relevant cases will be available on both, but I guess there are some differences in the treatises. (I also found Lexis better for getting free stuff, but I don't know if that's still the case.)

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Mullens
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby Mullens » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Many law students will develop preferences in law school and then employers also have preferences/preferred providers. I've also liked westlaw way better and find it easier to use. I have friends that religiously used lexis in law school for the rewards program.

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jchiles
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby jchiles » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:15 pm

Lexis sucks even with the rewards

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mjb447
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby mjb447 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 pm

jchiles wrote:Lexis sucks even with the rewards

Gotta go to those lunchtime "trainings" so you get the points (and free pizza) without having to use it.

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Ferrisjso
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby Ferrisjso » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:23 pm

Mullens wrote:Many law students will develop preferences in law school and then employers also have preferences/preferred providers. I've also liked westlaw way better and find it easier to use. I have friends that religiously used lexis in law school for the rewards program.


I've heard about this.

Thanks everyone for all the helpful replies! Going to be using Westlaw for my first research assignment and will be learning the ins and out of Lexis on Wednesday!

LawyerSawyer102
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby LawyerSawyer102 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:36 pm

Lexis does better job with case briefs - better summaries of casse and nice graphic representation of procedural history and citing history.

Westlaw has cleaner organization and better readability. Westlaw's search algorithm is more superior (gets you more releavant results).

I prefer Westlaw overall.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:36 pm

jchiles wrote:Lexis sucks even with the rewards

Amen brother.

AZ123
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby AZ123 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:56 pm

I prefer Westlaw personally, but lexis lets law students keep using their services for free during summer jobs which is a nice perk. (I'm sure you could still use your student Westlaw account for summer job stuff but I think they explicitly say it's not allowed).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:07 pm

Westlaw lets you use their services for unpaid jobs (with government/non-profit) or for classes/law review, just not for firms, and your firms shouldn't be mooching off student accounts anyway.

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esq
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby esq » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:24 pm

I haven't used Lexis much since law school, but Westlaw is great for everything as far as U.S. practice goes. However, Lexis had way more resources when it came to international legal research. Way more. I'm not sure if that has changed since 2014.

cavalier1138
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:48 am

esq wrote:I haven't used Lexis much since law school, but Westlaw is great for everything as far as U.S. practice goes. However, Lexis had way more resources when it came to international legal research. Way more. I'm not sure if that has changed since 2014.


I mean, they both kind of suck for any in-depth international research, especially once you get outside the UK or Canada.

But to answer the original question, West is faster and much more reliable. On the other hand, Lexis gives you free shit for using an objectively worse service.

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Thesaurus
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby Thesaurus » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:13 am

How do people feel about Bloomberg? Does anyone use it? I haven't used it at all since the meeting where they gave us passwords, but there seemed to be some distinctive features about it that the other two don't have. Like the ability to look up firms by the clients they represent or the types of matters they represent in federal court, or looking up corporations by the firms that represent them.

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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:52 am

Thesaurus wrote:How do people feel about Bloomberg? Does anyone use it? I haven't used it at all since the meeting where they gave us passwords, but there seemed to be some distinctive features about it that the other two don't have. Like the ability to look up firms by the clients they represent or the types of matters they represent in federal court, or looking up corporations by the firms that represent them.


I feel like the rep who presented at our school was the world's biggest asshole. But it's useless for case research. Maybe ok for firm lookup or some contract tools.

NoDayButToday
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby NoDayButToday » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:04 am

.
Last edited by NoDayButToday on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RaceJudicata
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:40 pm

NoDayButToday wrote:
Thesaurus wrote:How do people feel about Bloomberg? Does anyone use it? I haven't used it at all since the meeting where they gave us passwords, but there seemed to be some distinctive features about it that the other two don't have. Like the ability to look up firms by the clients they represent or the types of matters they represent in federal court, or looking up corporations by the firms that represent them.


I like Bloomberg for the docket feature. Cleaner presentation than PACER.

Between Westlaw and Lexis, I'd say I prefer Westlaw for the clean regional reporter PDF downloads, and just visual presentation. I find it harder to see where the opinion begins in Lexis. Otherwise, the rewards were kind of fun andI usually found the same results with both, so...maybe not a huge difference.


Bloomberg dockets are fantastic - and free for law students.

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BVest
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby BVest » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:15 pm

Westlaw is better, but Lexis has a better (and, starting my 2L year, the only) law student rewards points program. Cop those amazon gift cards while you can. Then switch to Westlaw for work.

(Sadly, my current employer uses Lexis exclusively).

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Ferrisjso
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby Ferrisjso » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:31 pm

BVest wrote:Westlaw is better, but Lexis has a better (and, starting my 2L year, the only) law student rewards points program. Cop those amazon gift cards while you can. Then switch to Westlaw for work.

(Sadly, my current employer uses Lexis exclusively).


I've come to the conclusion that you are correct.

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Kummel
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby Kummel » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:38 pm

I don't know if it's still the case, but for awhile Lexis was the only one with NYLJ opinions, which made it far superior imo than WestLaw

joanneofarc
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby joanneofarc » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:48 am

Westlaw is better for everything.

albanach
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby albanach » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:14 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:Bloomberg dockets are fantastic - and free for law students.


Yes, Bloomberg is awesome for tracking cases and giving you effectively free access to PACER for the duration of law school. That can be useful for clinics. It's certainly worth signing up if your school offers it.

RaceJudicata
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:08 pm

albanach wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:Bloomberg dockets are fantastic - and free for law students.


Yes, Bloomberg is awesome for tracking cases and giving you effectively free access to PACER for the duration of law school. That can be useful for clinics. It's certainly worth signing up if your school offers it.


And 6 months afterward (and I’m beyond six months and it still works for me... shhh)

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doggozeg
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby doggozeg » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:45 pm

I get Bloomberg at my school but haven't found immense use yet with it as a 1L. I prefer Westlaw in general, but I like the Shepardize feature of Lexis a lot.

dabigchina
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Re: Lexis or Westlaw:Which one's better and for what?

Postby dabigchina » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:03 pm

jchiles wrote:Lexis sucks even with the rewards

This. For example, I tried to find a HLR article on Lexis. Couldn't find it after putting the exact blue book citation into the search bar. Switched to Westlaw and found it in a second.

Lexis is just broken as fuck. I have no idea why they can't improve. It's not like searching text is some newfangled technology that nobody understands how to master.

doggozeg wrote:I get Bloomberg at my school but haven't found immense use yet with it as a 1L. I prefer Westlaw in general, but I like the Shepardize feature of Lexis a lot.


I dont know anybody who uses bloomberg.




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