This guide describes the major legal research databases available to law students- Westlaw, Fastcase and Bloomberg Law.
Lexis and Westlaw
The Law Library pays an annual subscription to both Lexis and Westlaw based on the number of enrolled law students. We are charged a discounted academic rate and in return for this access, Lexis and Westlaw place restrictions on the use of the passwords by law students. Generally, students can only use Lexis and Westlaw for academic purposes only, NOT for use when working for law firm or other employer, but there are some exceptions. To find out about any exceptions, information on summer access or access after graduation, click on the Lexis and Westlaw tabs above.
In addition to sanctions by the School of Law, a contract violation can result in having to pay the vendors for the services misused at commercial rates. Moreover, violators are likely to lose their privileges to use LEXIS and WESTLAW as students. A pattern of violations at our school could result in the vendors canceling our contracts, which would have a devastating impact on all students and faculty.
Your employer should not put pressure on you to use your academic passwords for your job. This would put you in violation of your agreement with Lexis/Westlaw and violation of the School of Law Student Disciplinary Code.
In some states, the attorney could be found to have violated professional ethics. See the Utah State Bar Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 2011-03 on the unethical practice of attorneys asking law students to use their academic Lexis and Westlaw accounts to conduct legal research for work.
Fastcase and Bloomberg Law
Fastcase and Bloomberg Law are free for law students and there are no academic restrictions on use.