Feb 20

If your firm is going sole provider, do you have a change management roadmap to guide the process?

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider

With the majority of firms already making the choice to retain just one vendor, the market has proven that firms don’t need both Lexis and Westlaw to operate successfully. Until a decade ago, more than 85% of law firms had both Lexis and Westlaw. The vendors offered products with a lot of unique content, making it justifiable to have both. Additionally, approximately 90% of costs associated with online research were passed through to clients.

Since the 2008 recession, recovery rates have dropped to 36%, overall usage is down and continuing to decline, and Lexis and Westlaw products have become quite similar. While there is still some unique content, it is not enough to justify firms retaining both. And, fortunately, there are many workarounds to alleviate concerns about lost content.

The idea of transitioning to sole-provider can be daunting, considering the many individuals and processes that might be impacted. There are a great number of elements to examine, from contracts to content, not to mention the strong reactions of users to fundamental system changes. Lexis and Westlaw have both successfully infiltrated law firms’ cultures and infrastructures over their many years of service.

Feit Consulting offers a variety of resources to help firms and organizations transition to sole provider. Firms and organizations can engage with Feit Consulting to provide project management direction, tools and resources to implement the change from two provider to one provider, or for some firms and organizations – flipping from one vendor to the other vendor. Feit Consulting will evaluate your specific needs to determine our role and pricing that is customized to your firm’s needs.

Flipping vendors or eliminating a vendor can provide substantial savings, however this process requires an intense amount of time and planning. Let Feit Consulting guide your firm or organization through the process. Contact Feit Consulting today to set up an initial consultation with our team of experts.

Feb 13

The Right Products. The Right Price.

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting

Gone are the days of published, pay-as-you-go retail pricing from which firms can pick and choose “buffet-style” the legal information products that best fit their practice needs and budget. 

Today, most pricing practices are purposely obscured so vendors can leverage terms that vary greatly from firm to firm.  While these tactics are symptomatic of mature products in a saturated market – they leave firms at a disadvantage during negotiations.

Data-driven negotiations help firms achieve their goal of purchasing the tools their attorneys truly require at the best market price. There are many factors that contribute to platform purchasing, including evaluating the value and effectiveness of current resources; where to find new efficiencies; negotiating contracts based on past vendor promises, and the role of legacy usage and recovery rates. 

Feit Consulting helps firms look at the full picture, not just the financial costs associated with your firm’s decision—and our industry-wide benchmarks give your firm the advantage it needs.

Set up a time to talk with us here

Jan 30

Does your firm or organization need a Modern Library Audit?

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting , Modern Law Library , Resources

If you are a Librarian or Administrator who has the mindset of continuous process improvement with the goal of optimizing resources (time and money), the Modern Library Audit provides concrete steps specific to your firm’s needs to achieve this.

In a Modern Library Audit, Feit Consulting’s team of experts conducts a thorough assessment of all legal information functions in the library and the support provided for various departments and practice groups. We evaluate the utilization of personnel, internal processes, technology, legal information resources and the overall support for the business of law.

From the assessment, we develop and present a plan to further modernize your Law Library. What this equates to is a solid plan with clear action steps and ROI for improving how your Law Library operates.

The Modern Law Library is not a destination but an approach to managing legal information resources. Even when a firm reaches the realm of modernizing their law library, changes will occur – internal and external to the firm – that affect the role of the Library and what it provides.

The result of a Modern Law Library Audit is a clear plan with recommendations specific to your firm/organization with the goal of saving money, improving efficiencies, and maximizing the utilization of resources.

If you are ready to take your Law Library to the next level, Feit Consulting’s Modern Library Audit provides a clear path forward. Contact a Feit Advisor today to set up an initial consultation and schedule your Audit.

Oct 30

Feit Consulting Announces their Managed Services Evaluator: First-of-Kind Service

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting

We are pleased to announce our Managed Services Evaluator (MSE), the industry’s only unbiased approach to the outsourcing of legal information management.  This new advising service offered by Feit bridges an industry gap.  

As more firms are evaluating outsourcing service models, there is a marked lack of data to help firms understand the current value of their in-house operations.  Before considering outside services, it is critical the firm understands the value it is currently deriving from its legal information resources.   

If it is determined that outsourcing is a potential option, MSE helps Feit clients differentiate between outsourcing providers, ultimately comparing the value and impact of in-house versus outsourced solutions.   The Managed Services Evaluator provides firms with the critical knowledge required to make the best choice for this important business decision.

As law firm information services have evolved and grown to deliver cross-departmental and cross-practice value, the industry has experienced a simultaneous boom in outsourcing providers offering varying degrees of support, with hybrid and fully outsourced models for firms to consider.  It is becoming a part of firms’ due diligence to investigate managed service options as part of any assessment of firms’ information services value.  But the question is, who is the right party to provide such an assessment?

President of Feit Consulting, Michael Feit, comments, “Managed services discussions can be a pain point for law firms, both on the librarian side and firm leadership side.  Feit’s Managed Services Evaluator is designed to help guide both librarians and management towards the best decision, starting with the right data.  For librarians, our assessment can illustrate the market value of their current legal information delivery system.  For firm leadership, an unbiased assessment of service providers has heretofore not even been available – as the other advisors in this space are also providing the outsourcing services under consideration.   In the end, what is most valuable is putting the two together to create the right conversation – with the right information.”

To guide an unbiased evaluation, Feit presents data in neutral fashion, across comprehensive review of your existing library and external/outsourcing options if indicated. 

Feit’s decades of expertise and experience in legal information consulting helps firms successfully understand their market position, including answers to these questions:

  • What is the genuine value of your in-house library?
  • What is the real cost of your in-house library?
  • Is outsourcing an apples-to-apples replacement?  Something less?  Something more?
  • Will my firm reduce costs, increase costs, or simply move them to a different cost center?

To learn more about Feit’s Managed Services Evaluator, go here.

About Feit Consulting

Feit Consulting has been a pioneer in the field of information services management consulting for almost two decades.  The experts of Feit Consulting are trusted legal information advisors and partners in the assessment, negotiation and implementation of customized solutions that optimize information services while achieving substantial savings for the top 400 firms, and now for small firms. As leaders with unparalleled experience, Feit Consultants have been challenging existing paradigms for the benefit of their clients since 2001.

Patricia Ann Nagy, DirectorProxy Public Relations LLC188 Grand Street #201New York, NY 10013347.384.2993patricia@proxypr.com

Oct 30

Meet the Managed Services Evaluator Team!

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting

As we launch our new offering, the Managed Services Evaluator, we sat down with our lead law library consultants, Stuart Zimmerman and Becky Bowman to discuss their thoughts.  Both Stuart and Becky have distinguished backgrounds as law library leaders.

Stuart was the Director of Research and Information Services for Davis Wright Tremaine for 18 years, Becky was the Chief Research and Information Analysis Officer for Baker Donelson for 32 years. Both Stuart and Becky bring a long track record of incredible accomplishments achieved at their firms, and look forward to their leadership and insights evaluating managed services options.  Read more about Becky and Stuart here.

As Stuart notes, “Every firm’s culture is unique as well as their mission and market-positioning—there’s simply no one-size fits all solution, which is why it’s so important to have a critical eye weigh all the factors into this decision. As outsourcing becomes more prevalent, many firms are going to want to reevaluate their in-house operations.  Librarians tend to be more vocal about the research they provide and focus less so on making their value visible.  Costs, however, are laying very heavily on firms.  They know they need information services, but no one wants to pay for it.  I look forward to helping firms understand the value that flows from the library throughout the firm as well as how to most cost-effectively place that spend, in-house or outsourced.” 

Becky adds, “We will be approaching Managed Services Evaluator with firms in an unbiased way, but also holistically. Law librarians are caught between two worlds:  vendors who want new business and managers that are cost conscious.  Both have inherent self-interests which is why it really is helpful to insert an unbiased voice into the dialogue.

Some law firm leaders are reluctant to embrace what is going on.  They are disconnected and don’t have a way to connect the increasing cost to market trends.  We will help them look at the big picture, from staffing, to collection trends, and of course analyzing their contracts.  Firm management often likes the theory of outsourcing, but there are tradeoffs when there is homegrown staff right there with institutional knowledge.  I am looking forward to helping firms put data on both sides of the equation that guides better decision-making.”

Click here to learn more about the unbiased, Managed Services Evaluator.

Oct 29

Do “They” Know You Exist? Marketing Library & Information Services in Law Firms Part III: Branding

By Becky Bowman and Stuart Zimmerman | Feit Consulting

In this three part series, we have been examining ways information professionals can demonstrate their value.  As talk of a 2020 recession continues and as firm leadership feels the pinch of expenses outpacing revenue as we come to the end of 2019, cost centers like your firm’s library become even more scrutinized than normal.   

Part I focused on how information professionals can work with their attorneys to show that business value; in Part II, we looked at demonstrating value to firm leadership.  In this final piece, we look at branding your firm’s information services.

Branding is another tool to help build the profile of the library/information services department.  Consider developing a departmental logo. Use logos liberally to brand communications, deliverables, and web resources coming from the library.  If you are lucky, the firm’s graphic designers may be able to craft something that ties in with the firm’s logo.  Appearance matters here – brand all of the work products that have been touched in some way by the library or research department.

Law firm departments tend to become siloed, so it is key to ensure your material is branded to reinforce the value your department provides.  It is all about keeping the name of the library/information services department top of mind.  If your colleagues are actively aware of the departments value, you are one step ahead of the game and standing out – but be consistent.

Branding involves building blocks and consistency is the foundation.  For this is to take off you need to ensure your team is aware of the goals and process. Librarians are the brand ambassadors of the legal information services department and it takes a unified village to meet your goals.

Marketing plays a huge part in how we present ourselves to the firm and how “they” see our value. It is all about realizing the opportunities and build in ways to routinely tell stories of success, backed with meaningful metrics. Make sure that firm leadership knows the value that the library brings to the firm!

Did you know?   Feit Consulting offers Contemporary Library Solutions, examining and recommending changes to save the firm/organization money, improve efficiencies, and maximize utilization of resources. Contact Feit Consulting today to set up a free consultation on modernizing your Law Library.

About the Author

Becky Bowman, Law Library Consultant Becky served as the Chief Research and Information Analysis Officer for Am Law 100 firm, Baker Donelson for 32 years where she ultimately led a team of 5 to serve 750+ attorneys across 23 domestic locations. Becky’s accomplishments at Baker were multiple, including transforming the library from print to digital, overseeing the efficient combination of 15 mergers and acquisitions of library materials, and successfully rebranding her department, and achieving buy-in from key stakeholders. Her exceptional experience is invaluable for clients as they assess the actual total cost and value of their library and research department including current print and digital collections, vendor contracts, as well as consider cultural and workflow disruptions or benefits in moving to an outsourcing vendor.

About the Author

Stuart Zimmerman, Law Library ConsultantStuart provides strategic input on library and research services in large law firms with a focus on library audits, the development of best practices for the delivery of library services, and the implementation of new generations of digital resources for research and library administration. Stuart brings more than 25 years of law library experience both in law firms and public law libraries. Prior to joining Feit Consulting, Stuart was Director of Research and Information Services for Davis Wright Tremaine LLP where he transformed a patchwork of individual law office libraries into a coordinated, efficient, contemporary, firm-wide library system providing high-quality research and library services across nine offices.