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October 14 2013

Boost Your Resume and Get Instant Rewards

posted by Andrew Solis

Boost Your Resume and Get Instant Rewards

It’s no secret that the legal job market is getting more competitive every year. In all honesty, there is no guarantee that you will get a job after law school.

So what do you do? How do you get the competitive edge?

One thing you could do is get Westlaw Certified.

(I do not have any affiliation with Westlaw. I just want to share how to become Westlaw Certified because it can be done online, while Lexis requires in-person training.)

Boost Your Resume

When you get a job after graduating, there is a pretty good chance that you will be the one doing most of the research and grunt work. Law firms, especially those who bill their research expenses to the client (instead of absorb the costs as overhead), want to make sure that their client is getting good value for their money and that the firm is not spending more than it needs to on research.

Graduates applying for junior associate positions or even judicial clerkships can get a nose in front of their competition by showing potential bosses that they are efficient researchers. Even if the firm you are applying to does not use Westlaw, the certification will still shine brightly upon your resume.

Get Certified, It’s Easier Than You Think

Westlaw offers online as well as in-person training. Since Westlaw NEXT is an online tool, it was much easier for me to get certified online. If you work better with a live teacher who can answer questions it might be better for you to schedule training in-person or through a webinar.

Here is the Step by Step to get certified:

Step 1: Login  

Login to your Westlaw account.

From your Westlaw homepage (not your TWEN page) find the “Certification” link to get to the Westlaw Certification home page.

Step 2: Choose your Training

Once you are on the Certification page, scroll all the way down until you see the “Training Options” and “FAQs” table.

From here you can see that you need to complete 3 training sessions: Westlaw Next 101, Westlaw Next 201, and Westlaw NEXT 301.

In the “Training Options” section you can choose your method of completing the training: in-person, online, or webinar.

Step 3: Compete Training and Take the Quiz

Complete the training!

Choose which method will work best for you. I chose online because I could do all three sessions in one day if I wanted to. I found that the in-person training and webinar sessions did not really line up with my schedule.

The online training sessions only took me about 10-15 minutes each. In all honesty, you can just scroll down to the bottom and press finish, but good luck trying to pass the certification quiz!

Once you have completed the three training sessions, you will receive an email with a link that will take you to the certification quiz. I failed the first time I took the quiz but I was able to pass it the second time no problem.

Reap Your Rewards, Literally

You will get at least 1000 reward points for becoming Westlaw Certified!

As you can see on the Certification page, each training session, and even passing the quiz itself, will grant you 250 reward points (500 if you do 301 in-person).

I know it really only translates to about $8-$10, but imagine if you got $10 for every quiz you had to take. Use the points to get some study guides, maybe a DVD or save up to get something bigger.

Also, Westlaw is hosting a nationwide competition amongst the law schools in which the school with the most “Touch Downs” wins a scholarship. Yards and Touchdowns are gained by attending Westlaw events, getting certified, attending webinars, etc. So help yourself and your school by getting certified.

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Andrew Solis

About the Author: Andrew Solis
asolis@siu.edu

Andrew Solis is a 1L student at Southern Illinois University School of Law. He is a member of the International Law Society and the law school’s ping pong league. He volunteers weekly at the SIU Legal Self Help Center, which provides legal resources for individuals who wish to represent themselves in a legal action. When Andrew is not on campus studying, he likes to eat and sleep. Before law school he enjoyed playing drums, working on cars, and playing/watching soccer. View his blog at andrewsolislaw.wordpress.com.

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