Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Addicted to Westlaw

Legal research is fun. Right. Well, it might not always be fun, but at least as students, it's cheap. The folks at the LawBitches blawg (down south) recently posted about how much it actually costs firms to use services like Westlaw:
Here is what they should tell you about Westlaw before they get you addicted to the free stuff during law school. Once you leave law school, it is really expensive to use it. Several of us here took a Westlaw Seminar entitled "Prepare to Practice" (got us 500 Westlaw points and a beautiful soft leather portfolio) and we found how much it costs out in the real world. Here are just some examples (and the numbers are not exaggerations...).

Typical Database search Costs:

Search all cases- $159 (everytime you hit the "Search" button)
Search one state's cases- $52
Keycite a case- $6.25 (per Case- think of a memo you would write which may cite to 20-30 cases)

Search all cases- $15.80/minute or $948/hour
Search one state's cases- $6.33/minute, $380/hour

Of course this is without any real discounts (some firms have discounts and will allow you unlimited access but remember a client still does not want to see a $4000 bill for "research").
Note: all figures are US$$$. Anybody know the Canadian rates?

To students: enjoy it while it's free! I know I'm having a ball! ;)


At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Directly from WestlaweCARSWELL:

"WestlaweCARSWELL access is provided to customers based on a flat-rate, annual subscription. Subscribers pay a set amount for as much usage as they need for an entire year."

Soure: (go to page 24).

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually in practice, WLeC is cheap - relative to LexisNexis. Lexis costs about a dollar per second to use in the 'real' world.


At 12:37 PM, Blogger a blawger said...

Thanks for your comments.

$1/second?!?!? So, $60/minute and $3600/hour?

Wow, that is ridiculously expensive. It's no wonder so many firms invest in their own libraries.

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