Monthly Archives: April 2017

Apr 20

LexisNexis: Leveraging Assets Too Soon?

By Michael Feit | Pricing , Vendors

As legal information experts, we closely monitor changes to pricing policies of the major players in the field. Recently, Lexis has stated that they will not allow AmLaw 200 Firms to purchase any of their other products if the firm does not retain their core Lexis contract.

While Lexis has made key exciting and smart acquisitions in the last few years, the value of all their products combined still is not enough to hold firms hostage to Lexis. With new assets such as Intelligize, Lex Machina, MLex, and Law360, Lexis is approaching a critical turning point, whereby they might soon be able leverage the total value of all products to force a firm to keep Lexis. In sum, by withholding these resources from firms now who do not hold a core Lexis contract, Lexis is foregoing critical buy-in for the long run.

Apr 20

Competitive Intelligence: New Roles for Librarians

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Librarians

Competitive Intelligence (CI) in law firm marketing and business development has finally found its place.  If you were one of the early adopters, you know it was a tough sell convincing the marketing department that CI had a role in the RFP process. Or furthermore that CI was essential for a potential client pitch.

A lot has changed since the early years. CI has established itself as a go-to tool in supporting not only marketing but also the business of law. As a result, CI has opened up new roles for librarians to showcase their research and analytical skills. CI has presented new avenues for interdepartmental cooperation.

To fully embrace this component in your role as Librarian, you should consider the following:

  • Help your firm to identify and purchase the ancillary niche products offered by LEXIS, Thomson Reuters and other providers to support your firm’s CI initiative.
  • Offer your services to your recruiting department to assist in the vetting of lateral partners’ portfolios of business as they are considered as possible firm employees.
  • Get a seat at the table as a Competitive Intelligence specialist, helping your firm grow their bottom line and identify new business prospects.
  • Create and roll out an alerting service on top clients of the firm, giving attorneys touch points of information so they can pick up the phone to call their clients.

Librarians are naturals to fill this critical role and promote Competitive Intelligence within their law firms. If you are unsure of where to start or need assistance in creating a CI business plan to present to management, Feit Consulting can help. If you already have CI in place and need a GAP analysis to gauge the effectiveness of your role, Feit Consulting can partner with you on this initiative. Learn more about working with Feit here.

Apr 18

Value of the Office Copy Audit

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Budgeting

Savvy librarians are always looking for ways to assess and right-size their collections, both print and electronic. As practice groups come and go, information needs change and new products come to market. There are several kinds of collection audits that can be conducted at different times. For instance, the Office Copy Audit can be a valuable tool in annual budget preparation.

“Office Copies” is a budget line that is continually growing and can be an emotional powder keg when surveying attorneys about their office-copy needs. As you review office copies by practice group, you can build a report with data showing Management exactly how much it costs to support a practice area’s information needs. Finance is always interested in data that provides insight into practice-group spend versus practice-group profitability.

For report generation, you will need to categorize and sort your resources by title, vendor, practice group and price. Areas to consider for your Office Copy Audit:

(1) Are you choosing the best content for the price?

(2) Have other vendors moved into the market with the same content, but at a better value?

(3) Are you including office copies in a LMA, and if so, does the Swap-Out Period give you enough flexibility to add and delete copies as attorney numbers change?

(4) When was the last time you actually surveyed attorneys on the value of the office copies they receive?

Once you have your report in hand, set aside a time to meet with the Practice Chair to review titles and expenses charged to the group. This can be a real eye-opener when it comes to costs incurred. Many times the mere cost of publications will gain support for cancellation of materials that are seldom used. This conversation can bring up other factors to consider, such as format changes from electronic to print for better access.

The Office Copy Audit is a win-win for the library, because it highlights to Management that you care about your budget spend. The audit opens a line of communication with the Practice Chair and shows that you are thinking about how to best support their legal information needs in a cost-effective manner.

As firms continue to question the costs of library real estate and resources, a full Collection Audit might be something to consider. As prices of print and online resources escalate, the Collection Audit will identify redundant content and help you right-size your resources better. Feit Consulting can work with your firm on an Office Copy Audit or a full Collection Audit. Click here for how your firm can work with Feit.

Apr 17

Feit’s Mission Statement

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting

Thought leaders committed to challenging existing paradigms, Feit Consulting partners with law firm administrators and legal information professionals to optimize the management and delivery of legal information resources by providing leading-edge, customized solutions.

To learn more about Feit Consulting, click here.

Apr 17

A Librarian’s Perspective: Concerns of Eliminating a Vendor

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , White Papers

As a former research librarian who has worked at various large law firms across the country, I always looked forward to visits from our vendors, in particular our regular weekly Lexis and Westlaw rep visits. Throughout my many years of working in law firms, I developed numerous friendships and truly considered our Westlaw and Lexis reps to be part of our extended library team. During this time I always considered how difficult it must be for law library directors to make the decision to go sole-provider, especially when so often there are strong relationships in place with both vendor reps and account managers. Today, that seems to be less of an issue, as there has been an increase in turnover of Lexis and Westlaw reps and decreased firm visits.

Law library directors are under significant pressure from administrators tasking them with saving their firm money, all the while having to deal with the pressure and demands of attorneys and paralegals who are terrified of losing content if one of the vendors is eliminated, and keeping their users happy. It is critical to take emotions out of the equation when making critical decisions about vendors and focus on what is best for your law firm and users. With so much duplicate content on both Westlaw and Lexis, cutting one of these providers can mean significant savings to law firms. As a new member of the Feit Consulting team, reading our white paper The Sole Provider Playbook was eye-opening for me, as I didn’t realize all of the steps involved when going sole-provider and the length of time the entire process can take.

Some things I learned:

1.) Eliminating Westlaw is a much more difficult task than eliminating Lexis. Westlaw’s popularity is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome.

2.) Feit Consulting forecasts that by 2018, 58% of large law firms will have eliminated a vendor. For the first time since the 1990’s, retaining just one vendor has become the norm.

3.) Creating small 2-4 person task forces, comprised of librarians, associates, IT staff, etc., can help make the transition to a sole provider easier and more inclusive. Ideas for task forces include ones on Vendor Strategies, Content Hurdles, Purchasing, and a User Buy-In task force. The more inclusive the process is, the easier the transition will be for everyone involved. Heavy users of the vendors should be included.

4.) Today, there are numerous on-demand research services that that can serve as an excellent tool for access to lost content.

If you are new to the process and want to be prepared, this step-by-step inclusive guide is essential reading to help you navigate all of the intricacies of vendor elimination. Law firms should carefully evaluate their need to retain both vendors. Our Sole Provider Playbook will not only guide you, but will empower you, through the sole-provider process.

Apr 17

Top 5 Likely Reasons Why Pricing is Secret

By Michael Feit | Pricing , White Papers

Top 5 likely reasons why pricing is not published for certain products:

1. Numerous firms are paying considerably more than average/median price.

2. Allows vendor to manipulate benchmarks to justify price increases in all situations.

3. The value and/or usage of product is diminishing.

4. The product has reached saturation near or at capacity in the market.

5. Vendor will lose substantial revenue.

Learn how to optimize pricing for your legal information in Feit Consulting’s next white paper.