Lexis and Westlaw Points (the exciting conclusion)

When you think about Lexis and Westlaw points in dollar terms, it becomes pretty clear that they’re essentially worthless. Nevertheless, a few bucks tend to be worth the effort of a few clicks for the average law student.
My calculations did not take into account the special promotions and contests that both Lexis and Westlaw offer. Someone pointed this out in the comments on the first day of this little project. I shouldn’t overlook the possibility of winning points. First year I won $210 in gift certificates from Westlaw. Since then I’ve won some points now and then, but not too frequently. I almost wonder whether either service favors younger students (to get them hooked) any evidence?
I don’t think Lexis even had a point system during my first year (I’m a 3L), but I did notice that Westlaw points became a lot less valuable sometime this year. I traded in 5000 points for a cordless phone at this time last year. The same phone is now 7800 points.

In any case, whatever law students “earn” by using Lexis and Westlaw, we surely make up for it in our professional lives by using the services at huge expense (within the first week of our professional lives? first day? first hour?). Of course, we’ll likely use one service or the other regardless of any prizes we receive in law school, so I guess the only value in giving this stuff away is to sway the lawyer from one side to the other when she has a choice between the two services.