Monthly Archives: September 2020

Sep 22

The End of Books is Here—What Are the Steps to Take Now?

By Alex West | Feit Consulting

By Alex West l  Feit Consulting

COVID-19 has transformed the law firm market.  One of those significant, industry-wide changes is how COVID has essentially put an end to books.  The good news is, placing focus now on the diminishing value of print creates a valuable opportunity for your firm.

Non-digital assets which cannot be accessed remotely have been rendered useless. Even for in-office professionals, librarians are faced with challenges, such as potential new costs and disruption to sanitize shared objects such as books.

We’re seeing the data tell the story in our recent legal information market survey.

We asked respondents how much print made up the budget prior to COVID and what will happen after COVID. We were surprised by the enduring legacy of print. On average, print made up 18% of the current total legal information budget, down from 30% over the past 5 years.

Then, we asked respondents how their print collection budget has changed over time. We noted a significant decline in print, but we were once again surprised by print’s enduring legacy as shown below:

  • 1/3rd of our respondents said that 20% of their current budget is for print products.
  • 5 years ago, that same third of the market was spending 30% of its budget for print.

Finally, we asked respondents about their plans for print collections post-COVID, over 90% said they are getting rid of all print whenever possible.

90% is huge.  Many of those surveyed noted that savings won't be achieved in the first year due to print contracts and print retention clauses. Foreseeing the end, the vendors with a large legacy investment in print, have slowed law firm cancellations of print, by creating obstacles to elimination:

  • Lexis utilizes print and off-line retention clauses to effectively handcuff firms, penalizing them for canceling print.
  • Westlaw's LMA, probably the most successful cancellation inhibitor gave firms a substantial discount to keep print and provide 'price protection' (against Westlaw's own price increases).
    • Firms without LMA's saw their print costs rising >11% annually.

Our survey showed 57% of firms still had LMA's with Westlaw, indicating that many firms have substantial print and will have to wait to receive savings due to their contractual obligation to pay for print for a certain period of time.

The expiration date for print is now Getting rid of something as ingrained as print can be difficult - especially during stressful times. But doing this exercise now is important.  What are the next steps?

  • Collection Review
  • Roadmap to a Future without Print

Feit's library team is ready to help. There are tremendous cost efficiencies available to firms that make this transition effectively. If you'd like to learn more about how Feit is helping its clients, click here to set up a meeting.

About the Author 

Alex West, M.B.A., Senior Vice President

As Senior Vice President, Alex guides client interaction and strategic direction for the Advising group at Feit Consulting. With an extensive corporate background in management and marketing at Fortune 500 companies such as Sara Lee, Hasbro and P&G, Alex oversees all Feit client engagements. With Feit Consulting's analytics and deep knowledge base in the legal information market, Alex optimizes customer experiences with strategies tailored to each Firm's individual needs.

Sep 21

Introducing Katie Leonard – Feit Consulting’s new VP Information Management Services!

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting

We are thrilled to welcome Katie Leonard to Feit Consulting as Vice President, Information Management Services this week.  Katie is a highly regarded information services professional who brings an impressive 20+ years of experience from her executive tenure at both law firms and law firm vendors, including Thomson Reuters.  Katie will lead Feit Consulting’s Contemporary Library Solutions initiatives.

Now that much of the law firm workforce is distributed in various work-from-home scenarios, law firms are looking for new ways to restructure operations and services as they adjust to the “New Normal” model.

What Feit is hearing from its law firm and corporate partners is that management needs expertise and industry-wide metrics to  help guide their decision-making during these operational restructurings. Katie’s expertise on our leadership team puts Feit in a unique position to provide that.  In addition, Feit can provide information professionals with a wider range of advising to help them understand the value of their information resources.   

Katie comments, “I am delighted to be joining Feit and to support law firm librarians’ needs for market data and strategic decision-making.  The way information is consumed continues to evolve, bringing with it both challenges and opportunities.   Feit has the expertise, knowledge and insight to advise librarians in this dynamic market.”

We’re excited to bring on someone of Katie’s caliber to lead our library solutions initiatives.  Right now, firms are under stress with the urgent mandate to restructure.  Librarians need a data-driven business plan to help them successfully navigate their firm’s unique information needs in both the short and long terms—and we know that Katie’s leadership and insights will be invaluable for our clients towards that end.

Please join me in welcoming Katie to the Feit Consulting team!