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Successful Summer Strategies: Research in the Real World: Lexis & Westlaw Tips

Research in the Real World Starts Here. Use this guide to orient yourself to the world and research environment.

Thank You

Tips for Lexis Advance and Westlaw

  • Be flexible. Your employer may offer access to only one legal research database from a major provider. Make sure that you can perform necessary search functions on both systems.
  • Plan a search before connecting to the system.
  • If you have a citation, use the Advanced search.  Advanced search fields are Boolean only, so be sure to include your citation in quotation marks.
  • Call the reference attorneys at Lexis and Westlaw. They can suggest search terms or databases. They will run a search for you and see if there are any hits. 1 -800 45 LEXIS, 1-800-REF-ATTY (733-2889) (Westlaw)
  • Start off with a broad search and then filter to determine the best documents to click on.
  • Sort by relevance or most used to determine best documents to click on.  In Westlaw, show the most detail to determine the best documents to click on.  In Lexis Advance, use the Free Preview.
  • Save documents in folders.  Westlaw and Lexis Advance allow free access to folders for one year.  In Lexis Advance, you can update Shepards signals for a document in a folder for free.
  • With transactional pricing, you can run a previously conducted search from your History or Trail at no charge for a limited time.  This is cheaper than re-running the search.
  • Use the Table of Contents or use Book Browse.
  • Print with your Web browser for free.
  • Copy with Reference instead of printing, if desirable.
  • Alerts are FREE and can be created when you use Westlaw and Lexis