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Monday, November 22, 2004

the Baylor Challenge

The following was pulled from a blog written by a law student at Baylor, posted at

For the non-law students, WestLaw is just one online research database law students get to freely abuse for 3 years . . . only so they can then abuse us for the rest of our careers.

They offer us cheap "rewards" to get us hooked and then, when we are on our own, we will panhandle law firm librarians like cheap drug-store junkies begging for a fix: "C'mon, man . . . just one search. Please. Its been so long and I have a memo due tomorrow. I just need a couple primary sources, man. I'll do anything. Please. Man. For . . . just . . . one . . . search."

The Baylor Challenge:

"I did some calculations, in a [jurisprudence-induced mania], trying to figure out how I could bring down WestLaw solely by abusing their rewards program. While I know its impossible to shut 'em down, I honestly think they've assumed that no one will ever accumulate enough points to get the "big ticket" items they advertise. Now, by "Big Ticket" you might think the 27" flat screen (not panel) T.V was the most expensive item. NO SIR. You see, they tried to dupe us with the descriptive language of "Flat Screen" coupled with the requirement of 25,528 points. Its not LCD, Its not plasma. The T.V. only costs $349.00 and is basically a 27" hunk of shit. I did cost estimates of every item on the list (really trying to avoid Property and Contracts II) and on a point per dollar comparison the Bose VCS 30 speakers also come in at 349.00 retail....BUT, only cost 15,000 points. The Bissell steam cleaner was a close second.

The point of all this......if people would just log in once a day, click on 3 links to generate a pseudo search, the system would allocate the 20 points for the daily usage. Then, when you sign off...if you elect to answer the trivia question (asuming you get it correct) you get another 5 points. So, at a minimum 25 points per day. 15,000/25 is 600 days. When you calculate in the hundereds of points you can get from the little tutorials and extra training, that number will realistically be about 400 days(little over a year). If 250 people did this and ordered the speakers, our school alone could hit West Law for $87,250.00.PER YEAR. If I get Tech, SMU, South Texas School of Law, and Saint Mary's on board we're looking at $436,250.00 they'll have to pay out per year. And finally, if I could successfully implement this I could cost WestLaw about $1.3 million over my law school career and furnish about 3,750 starving law students with name brand, kick ass sound systems for free. It's nice to have goals you know..."


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