New Procedure for Westlaw Passwords Forthcoming

westlaw, paralegal, online degreeBy Brian Craig

Paralegal Program Chair

Starting in Early Fall Quarter 2012 in July 2012, paralegal students with the Globe Education Network will receive a Westlaw password that they will be able to use during the entire time they are enrolled as a student in the paralegal program.

Currently, students taking certain courses, such as LA155 Legal Research I, pay a lab fee and receive a Westlaw password from their instructor, but have to re-register a new Westlaw password each quarter when they take a course with a Westlaw password. This process is somewhat burdensome since new passwords have to be issued each new quarter.

Under the new system that will take effect Early Fall Quarter 2012, each paralegal student will receive their own Westlaw password that they will be able to use during the time the student is enrolled as a student in the paralegal program. Because Westlaw passwords can only be used for educational use, students will not be able to use the Westlaw password during the internship at the end of the student’s program. Therefore, the student’s password will be deactivated when the student starts the internship at the end of the program.

Students will receive the Westlaw password/activation key from the paralegal program chair from their home campus. Students whose home campus is online (Globe University Online, Minnesota School of Business Online, Broadview University Online) will receive their Westlaw password and registration key from Brian Craig, paralegal program chair for the online division, via email, on or before July 29, 2012. Students taking online courses but with a home campus other than online should contact the paralegal program at their home campus.

Students taking the following courses will pay a lab fee of $40 per course for Westlaw usage:

LA155 Legal Research I

LA215 Law Office Procedures and Technology

LA235 Contracts

LA240 Legal Writing I

LA265 Family Law

LA300 Law Office Management

LA323 Bankruptcy

LA410 Legal Research II

LA425 Legal Writing II

LA450 Field Preparation

If a student already has a West OnePass account, the student will simply need to click on the link to  activate the registration key that they will receive in an email at the beginning of Early Fall Quarter 2012 in July 2012. If a student has not yet created a West OnePass account, the student will need to create a new West OnePass account. Students should use their school email address when creating the West OnePass account and should create a username and password that is easy to remember.

More information on how active a Westlaw registration key will be forthcoming in July 2012.

Paralegal students will have access to both classic Westlaw at http://www.westlaw.com and WestlawNext at www.next.westlaw.com. Students are encouraged to use both classic Westlaw and WestlawNext but students should spend more time on developing legal research skills using WestlawNext since eventually, classic Westlaw.com will be phased out. Students will continue to have access to LexisNexis Academic available through the Online Library available via the “Library” link in all online courses in CampusConnect.

With WestlawNext, students will now also have access to jury verdicts and settlements. Students will continue to have access to other databases on Westlaw, including cases, statutes, regulations, secondary sources, forms, and news. Because of privacy laws, students do not have access to public records databases on Westlaw or WestlawNext.

Westlaw passwords should only be used for educational purposes. Examples of educational purposes include working on class assignments, completing Westlaw e-learning tutorials, and learning how to research and navigate on Westlaw. Students will not be able to use Westlaw passwords for employers during internships. If a student is currently working or interning for a law firm or other organization, the Westlaw student password should NOT be used for work-related projects. Utah State Bar Opinion No. 11-03 (Nov. 15,
2011) states that it is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for an
attorney to ask a law student [or a paralegal student] to undertake research
using the student’s account and in breach of the student’s contract with Lexis and/or Westlaw.

Students needing assistance can call Westlaw at 1-800-WESTLAW (1-800-937-8529) for customer service, technical, or research assistance.

We are excited about the new change in Westlaw passwords and hope that this new process will help students continue to further develop their legal research skills.