AE has an Advanced Lightning effect. Don't just apply it and give up though. Look at the help document and poke around with the settings. You can get some great-looking stuff with it! I especially like the alpha feature to make it alter its path around an object.
I usually add glow to it using other effects.
The very fastest way to find community resources for and effect is to type the name of the effect in the search help field at the top right corner of After Effects. This will bring up a whole list of prescreened tutorials and information on the effect. The search help field is one of the least used and most powerful learning aids Included with AE.