March 2, 2010 – Westlaw is an online legal research service available to Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students. To request a Westlaw password, please contact the law librarian, Dave Beagle (540-231-9231). Because there are a limited number of passwords available, in certain cases sharing may be necessary. This is most common in classroom situations where the number of students exceeds the allotment of passwords in the Library’s account.
Student passwords normally expire at the end of each semester but can be retained for longer periods of time. Faculty and staff passwords expire when an individual leaves the university or has no further use of the service.
Read about Westlaw in Wikipedia.
In a nutshell, Westlaw is geared toward “serious” legal researchers. For many students, LexisNexis Academic is a good alternative. It is easier to use and does not require registration or password access. Students wanting to use Westlaw will receive training from the law librarian. A good, free Internet resource for legal research accessible by all persons is FindLaw.