Friday, October 14, 2005

Why must you tempt me with your extensive search advisor?

Think the ‘net’s just for porn and instant messenger (oh, and blogging)? No, no! Turns out lawyers use it too. And though I assume several of them could tell you their favorite porn site without thinking too hard about it, I’m actually talking about a program called Lexis Nexis, the glorified Google of the attorney’s universe.

And it is awesome. Too good, in fact. I’m actually having trouble learning how to research bits and pieces of the legal world because I know this deus ex machina is just a few keystrokes away. Statutes, case law, articles, etc. all connected and cross referenced to make sure your job as an intern is as painless (and thorough) as possible.

Here’s the catch though: those sneaky bastards give it to me for free so long as I’m a student, and then charge me up the wah-zoo as soon as I get my JD in hand. So here I am, knowing this grail is going to last only until my first lawyer’s paycheck, and instead I’m looking things up in these mundane tools called books. It’s like the librarian has given me an uncooked s’more and demanded that I toast it with two toothpicks and sheer force of will. And then she shows me that there is a microwave around the corner, but I really shouldn’t use it until I’ve “learned the ropes.”

And here’s Chapter 2 in my Lexis saga today – they give me reward points. For free stuff. I get freebies for using the addicting shortcut that won’t teach me any useful research tools and I won’t be able to use after I graduate. Oh, Lexis Nexis, you are the devil.

By the way, I have 2,060 reward points as of this morning. A PSP is 32,000 points, so I’m getting close!


Anonymous said...

1. amazon gift certificates. amazon gift certificates. amazon gift certificates. i cannot tell you how much of my dvd and book collection are a giant "I USED LEXIS NEXIS AND NEVER LEARNED HOW TO USE WESTLAW B/C LEXIS GAVE ME COOLER THINGS."
2. 2nd semester you will learn that thanks to lexis nexis you will never have to do a full reading again. or, really read for class ever again. helllllloooooo wireless connection in class.
3. lets you stalk other attorneys. also fun.

mmmm law school. so much useless knowledge.

goose said...

Gravy, work the new interns, use their ID #s, then when they move on, use the incomings, its a vicious cycle, but one that is oh so delightfully insidious.

sarah said...

Two of my friends work at lexis nexis writing code. One of them told me that the lexis nexis database is kept in a huge van that drives around the country and never, ever stops, in order, I assume, to keep it safe.

Also, if you stand at the side of the road at midnight on a foggy night and put your thumb out, no matter where you are the lexis nexis van will pull over to pick you up. But don't get in the van, man, cause it ain't really there. Blue Oyster Cult wrote a song about it.

Esther said...

Anon - I used both just to get the points. I still don't know how to either of them but I have lots of movies and a free set of luggage.

Goose - Mike already gave me his password :)

Mike - Go work for a big firm and Lexis continues to be free (for you). And the points come in the form of a paycheck!