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Searching Lexis Advance and Westlaw Edge: Connectors & Wildcards

General Tips & Comparison

Both Lexis Advance and Westlaw Edge default to natural language searching. Natural language searching works like a Google search. Commands and connectors (aka Boolean logic) are used for advanced searching and return more targeted search results. 

Lexis Advance 

A space is interpreted as an “and” connector. 

Lexis automatically recognizes many common legal phrases, (e.g., limited liability partnership, summary judgment, and search and seizure). However, if you want to be sure the phrase you’re searching is recognized, enclose it in quotation marks.

Connectors are not case sensitive.

Westlaw Edge 

A space is interpreted as an "or" connector.

Using “and”, “or”, or quotations marks does not automatically trigger Westlaw's advanced search. To change this default: Go to   Icon (top, right-hand corner), choose “preferences”, then “search.” Alternately, type "advanced:” or “adv:” in front of the search terms, (e.g., advanced: default or foreclosure).

Connectors must be in lowercase.

Database Help

Lexis Advance

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Westlaw Edge

SOLL Reference

Popular Connectors


Purpose Lexis Westlaw Example
Both terms anywhere  and, & and, &
  • trademark and infringement
  • dog & bite
Either term anywhere or or landlord or lessor
Terms that appear within "n" words of each other /n /n ruth /3 ginsburg
Term precedes the second within "nwords pre/n +n
  • overtime pre/3 compensation
  • overtime +3 compensation
Terms in the same sentence w/s w/s, /s
  • sanction w/s frivolous
  • sanction /s frivolous
Terms that appear within the same paragraph /p, w/p, /para /p, w/p
  • icy /p negligence
  • icy w/p negligence
Term or phrase appears at least X number of times atleast# atleast# atleast5 "executory consideration"
Term or phrase should be excluded

and not

but not, % 
  • negligence and not criminal
  • negligence but not criminal
  • negligence % criminal

A wildcard symbol replaces one letter in a search term 

(use one symbol for each character you want to replace).

*, ? *
  •  wom*n returns results with woman and women 
  • bernst**n would find bernstein and bernstien

Expand word root 

! ! liab! would find liable or liability


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