Monthly Archives: December 2017

Dec 07

Strategy, Planning, and ROI Tracking for 2018

By Michael Feit | Benchmarking , Contract Negotiations , Modern Law Library

The new year brings about the opportunity to do things differently. Technology and the buzz word – modernization, are top of mind as we enter into this new year. There are tactical things you as an Administrator or Librarian can do to stay ahead of the game this coming year, and make technology and modernization optimized within your Library.

Budget – Two key words come to mind with regards to budget: collaboration and reporting. Work with Finance to more efficiently monitor budget and expenses. Establish a new schedule for collecting data, and the date of each month or quarter you will turn around that data. For example, receiving data on the 3rd of the month and providing a report to management on the 10th of each month.

Reporting – What metrics are you using to measure ROI and showcase value? Are you collecting feedback from library users? Are you using an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) tool? If so, are you utilizing its full capacity?

Contract Management Planning – Implement new deadlines for legal information management planning. Most of us mark contract expirations on a calendar or in a tracking program. Go a step further.

Month 1: Determine which tools you have in place that can provide data on usage, costs, and value. Such tools may include: Invoices, ERM, developing a survey for users, and scheduling one-on-one conversations with attorneys and staff to assess value and usage of products.

Month 2: Collect data. Based on the tools determined in month 1, begin collecting data. Work with finance to dive into invoices.

Month 3: Analyze the data. Understand what is your ROI for the expiring product(s). Look at as many metrics as you can: Spend per Attorney, usage, discount, etc.

Month 4-6: Begin the negotiation process by requesting a proposal from vendor. Remember, it is more beneficial for vendors to wait to the last minute for pressure to sign the new contract. It won’t be easy but start early.

For firms and organizations considering eliminating Lexis or Westlaw, start this process 9 months to 12 months in advance of your contract expiration of either vendor. Assessing vendor preference and combating concerns is a lengthier process than one might think. While it has been done in a month, having more time on your side is always an advantage.

Feit Consulting’s Optimizing Legal Information Pricing is an excellent resource. It shares detailed processes and steps for contract negotiation planning, knowing which metrics to use, and how best to strategize the negotiation process.

Dec 07

2018 Changes & Projects for Improving Your Bottom Line

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Contract Negotiations , Modern Law Library

Return on Investment (ROI). For some firms and organizations, the law library can seem like a large expense without full trackablity of the value it offers. Some firms and organizations use it as a cost center. However, there are ways to enhance return on investment beyond general reporting. Not to negate reporting because we do highly recommend it. Here are other ways to provide ROI for your law library.

Billing Title Change

Changing the billing title of one or all of the Library staff can be a simple fix to passing on their research time to clients.

Modern Library Audit

A Modern Library Audit provides a current assessment of where your law library is today, and based on your unique firm’s or organization’s situation, what opportunities exist for transforming and streamlining workflow. Feit Consulting conducts Modern Library Audits for firms and organizations. This encompasses our team of experts completing an assessment of usage, processes and technology use. We provide a full business case with clear recommendations, specific to your firm and organization. Recommendations provided highlight the impact on your bottom line. No two law libraries are alike, nor are the solutions and services needed for optimizing use and value.

Start the Negotiation Process Early

Time is a huge advantage in the legal information contract negotiation process. Providing an adequate amount of time to begin the process can mean the difference of thousands of dollars for the firm/organization. Assess value early, Get quotes early.

Benchmark Your Contracts

When was the last time you had your contracts benchmarked by an outside firm? Your firm or organization may have the strongest negotiators in the industry but without the knowledge of where your contract stands in the market, you have no foundation to start from.

Revisit your Legal Information Strategy

Reviewing your strategy ensures your goal setting for 2018 is in line with the firm/organization’s anticipated changes and goals. Revising your strategy is a strong way to start the new year.

Collection Audit

Is your portfolio of resources serving your constituents fully? We have clients who sign a new contract year over year without assessing the use and value to users because the price tag is not significant. These small items can add up. Take the time to review your collection. If you don’t’ have the time, hire an outside consulting firm like Feit Consulting. With a little investment of time and money, you could be saving thousands over the years to come.

Interested in learning more about what Feit can do for your firm, contact us today for an initial consultation.

Dec 07

What to Expect from Feit Consulting in 2018

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting

2018 will be an exciting year! Feit Consulting is expanding our solutions and services around Library Modernization. Our webinar series will continue. This coming year, we will launch a Librarian Mentoring program. Our goal is to take the vision of the Modern Library and work with our clients in implementing it, to continue towards making the Library a place of excellence.

Feit Consulting is not siloed to working with only large firms. We work with smaller clients, government entities, law libraries, and corporations on an array of legal information needs and projects ranging from contract management and negotiations to steps for moving towards a Modern Library.

We continue our work on making the good fight with the vendors on pricing and terms. Focusing on metrics, tools and technology to empower firms and organizations to understand their ROI on the products and services the Library offers.

Dec 07

What to Expect in 2018 from the Vendors

By Michael Feit | Contract Negotiations , Vendors

Currently, Westlaw’s position on contracts is your pricing is correct. One can anticipate receiving the standard 3-5% increase, no matter what the situation is. This is what one can expect for 2018. The exceptions to this are 2017 year-end proposals with 0-1% increases for contracts that are already priced high in the market, giving one the impression they are getting a good deal.

Westlaw has been able to sustain such increases due to their vast popularity. One-quarter of firms that had considered eliminating Westlaw ended up retaining Westlaw because of its popularity amongst attorneys. However, this success is dwindling. The inability to rationalize pricing according to events at the firm such as usage and demand will continue to alert firms to the value for the dollar. As word gets out that more firms are eliminating Westlaw, the House of Cards will fall. While currently it is very difficult to negotiation core pricing, we expect this to change if not in 2018, then in 2019.

Lexis on the other hand is a much more open negotiating partner. Because they do not have the popularity of Westlaw, they are always fighting against this. In the latter half of 2017, Lexis developed a bottom line on pricing. A new strategy enacted in 2017 that we will see carried through in 2018 is the inability to retain peripheral products without a core Lexis contract; this is especially true for AmLaw 200 firms. This policy will not work indefinitely. At its core, this could be a great strategy but in our opinion, it is too soon for Lexis to enact this now. They need more buy-in and ramp up of the new acquisitions; time to solidify their product offerings before cutting off firms.

Unless there are dramatic changes in the market such as product offerings or new competition, more firms will choose to eliminate one of these two vendors, with an even split equally divided between Lexis and Westlaw.

Dec 07

Preparing for Next Year

By Michael Feit | Best Practices

For most, your budgets are finalized and you are in the midst of wrapping up 2017. The end of year is an excellent time to reflect on what went well and what could be improved upon. When work and life are busy, it can seem difficult to make time for reflection. Taking time to reflect is similar to taking a break from work. There is a point of diminishing return.

A team of researchers comprised of experts from Harvard Business School, HEC Paris, and the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School found that taking time to reflect can improve job performance. In one of their studies, individuals who took time to share and/or reflect on their learnings increased their performance by 22% than those who did not take time to reflect/shared. (Source:

The take-away – take time this December to reflect on your year. Go grab a coffee with your pen and a piece of printer paper. Write down your reflections on the following:

  • What are the accomplishments for the Library/Team/Department this past year?
  • What did I do well this year to enhance/improve workflow?
  • What did I do well this year to enhance/improve work culture?
  • What can I do differently next year to improve workflow?
  • What can I do differently next year to improve work culture?

Yes, workflow is important to getting things done. However, if you have a great place to work, it makes getting the job done easier. If you have ever thought “I don’t have time for reflection”, consider the data. Taking time to reflect can help you perform better.

Dec 06

What FEIT is Saying About Membership Libraries

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Modern Law Library

When we perform Modern Library audits, we are always looking for creative ways to advise firms on how they can supplement shrinking collections and tight staffing. One solution we have found to be of value is to recommend that firms explore joining a membership Library to support their specific needs. Generally speaking, membership libraries can help with additional research and content support, just in time document delivery, and access to specialized collections.

Since most of us are in the midst of budget season for 2018, consider how a membership Library might supplement your shrinking Library collection or cancelled online provider – what better way to address content gaps at a significant savings. For those Librarians supporting practice areas like intellectual property or specialized litigation, the cost of non-legal highly expensive technical journals can quickly eat up a Library budget. Once again we advise our clients to do a deep dive into the content offerings of the membership Library they are considering to make sure they are choosing wisely. One size does not fit all when it comes to choosing a membership Library or a level of membership.

It is not just research and documents, membership libraries have embraced new models to support their members. We like to tell our clients that membership libraries can fill needs you may not even know you have. Consider that some offer plug in apps that interface with SharePoint pushing curated information that the Library can use to enhance their online catalogs and practice group pages. Others provide remote office and meeting space and even advertising opportunities.

We advise that the Librarian should look at potential membership libraries to make sure the choice supports the needs of the firm beyond the basics of research services and document delivery. Evaluate their general, special and archival collections and ancillary services. Outline the benefits. What is the Return on Investment (ROI) to your firm? Prepare a Business Case so that management or finance understands. Membership means something entirely different in this context and you need to explain it in terms they can understand.

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