Imagine if Lexis and Westlaw were new products today, offering your firm the same subscription price you already have. Would you really purchase both? Most would argue that these products are far too close in total content to need both. Yet, many firms still have both of these vendors. This duopoly paradigm has been in place since the early ’90s, and has become the norm in law firms.
Historically, nearly all firms retained both Lexis and Westlaw because the majority of costs could be passed through to clients. The recession forever changed the dynamics of the online legal information market for both vendors and firms. Firms started to see their sophisticated corporate clients closely scrutinizing costs and refusing to pay for online legal research. Now that recovery rates have greatly diminished, firms are being forced to evaluate their need to retain both vendors.
Michael Feit earned his J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and was an executive at Westlaw before founding Feit Consulting 16 years ago. Feit Consulting partners with law firm administrators and legal information professionals to optimize vendor contracts and the management and delivery of legal information resources by providing leading-edge, customized solutions. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org