The Frugal Law Student is always on the lookout for ways to get free stuff. When I found about Westlaw and Lexis points during orientation, I jumped on the point collecting bandwagon.
The idea of the point system is basically patterned off of crack dealers. Both companies offer rewards to students who use their service. The goal is to form product allegiance to their product.
Westlaw by far has the best reward system. All you have to do is sign on and you get 10 points. After you sign off, you can answer a super easy question about Westlaw service to earn 15 more points. Part of daily routine is to sign, look up a random legal word Black’s dictionary, sign-0ff, and answer the trivia question. Boom! 25 points daily points. Westlaw also sends out e-mails that offer 200 points just for opening them. Sometimes the e-mails have bonus trivia questions worth 100 points. The Westlaw classes also offer tons of points for attending. They take about an hour, but are worth up to 400 points each. (Plus you learn some cool research skills). I’m up to 3, 700 points so far. I’m thinking about using my points to buy Mrs. Frugal Law Student a nice handbag for Christmas and the only thing it will cost me was 2 minutes of my day. What a deal.
Lexis points suck. You don’t earn anything for signing on. Instead, you have to complete these dumb “Passport” quizzes. They take up insane amounts of time to do. Even when you complete them, you don’t get many points. Additionaly, Lexis training points pale in comparison to Westlaw. I think if you attended a Westlaw workshop at my school, you got 100 points. Lame. However, I’m still trying to earn points on Lexis because you can exchange your points for gift certificates to Chili’s or amazon.com. If I earn enough, I can take out Mrs. Frugal Law Student for dinner and eat the crap out of a Ground Peppercorn Burger and Southwest Eggrolls. And it won’t cost me a dime.
Bottom line: If you’re not already doing so, get serious about Westlaw and Lexis points. It doesn’t take much time and the pay off can be good.