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February 28, 2005

Wexis the Pusher

Still working on the “Wexis is Evil” paper and I ran across this great bit from this recent story in the DC Bar magazine:
And the new users who were entering the system—new associates—were already the focus of a massive marketing effort by LexisNexis and Thomson West that began in law school. The legal research giants spend millions every year providing free access to their services, countless hours of training, and unlimited printing to law school students. Add a hip tchotchke or two, and it might be possible to engender brand loyalty for life. “It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say they’re very much like drug dealers,” says Tanya Thomas, a lawyer and law librarian at Spiegel & McDiarmid. “They get you hooked so you don’t know how to do the research any other way.”
How are those Wexis points treating you today? How snazzy is that new insulated coffee mug? Hey look, did you know you can look up criminal records for people you know? Have another hit, kids, it's all part of the massive inflation of costs in the legal profession, starting with law school and permeating every little inch of the field. Addictive schmaddictive! That's why you're going to take that BigLaw job and sell your soul to the highest bidder, remember?

Posted February 28, 2005 02:05 PM | 2L law general

Well, I am at a BigLaw job and I have sold my soul (although I never intended not to do so), but I am a commercial real estate lawyer, so, thankfully, there is next to no legal research necessary. I don't even know my Westlaw or Lexis passwords...

Posted by: David at February 28, 2005 03:21 PM

The Nebraska State Bar has an online state and 8th Circuit caselaw database free for use by all members. I know of a couple of small firms that don't use anything else. I don't think enough people know about it, though.

Posted by: Steve at February 28, 2005 04:41 PM

I am getting really excited about reading this article. I sure hope you put "Addictive schmaddictive" in there somewhere.

Posted by: Law-Rah at February 28, 2005 06:49 PM

is it so wrong of me to have lexis under one firefox tab and westlaw under the other?

I still like books though...


Posted by: quasi in r.e.m. at March 1, 2005 12:50 AM

Hey, Lexis points have kept me, a broke law student, in comic books for the past year. Law students ought to be smart enough to exploit the system cynically rather than to be bought-in.

Posted by: Sarah at March 1, 2005 10:22 AM

Seriously! Westlaw's already won my soul. And it's only because their rep at our law school is slightly more organized and their tchotkes are shiny and well-timed.

Posted by: Monique at March 1, 2005 02:00 PM

Unfortunately for me, or fortunately? Westlaw and Lexis were accessible where as having to ask a librarian for a book everytime I needed to cite check or look something up was not really welcomed.

Posted by: yasmín at March 1, 2005 04:30 PM

As far as I am concerned, they'll pay for themselves down the road.

Posted by: Brian at March 2, 2005 11:18 PM

I thought of your project today when I learned that the Colorado Bar Association is joining the project that the Nebraska bar and numerous other state bar associations have begun to try to make caselaw and statutes more readily and inexpensively available to members. This is still a bar member benefit, meaning that a pro se party probably won't have access. It's still a step forward for the lawyers, though.

The announcement is here.

Posted by: Tim Hadley at March 3, 2005 10:06 PM

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