Tag Archives for " metrics "

Jan 15

What does it mean to be a Modern Law Library?

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

The Modern Library is a business within a business, utilizing metrics and analytics to forecast, predict and analyze data as changes occur. More than providing content, the Modern Law Library encompasses a proactive approach and mindset, developing new processes and collaborations to support the business of law. An important component to realizing a Modern Library is open-mindedness by both Administrators and the Library team.

To fully embrace the Modern Library approach, consider the following questions in your role with the Library (whether as a Librarian or an Administrator):

  • What can I do differently to offer value to my organization and make them see me and my library in a new way?
  • How can I change my habits to actually facilitate change?
  • How can I move out of my mindset of but we have always done it that way?
  • How can I change the way I work with various departments, my Administrator, my Librarian to support the business of law in an improved, more efficient way?

While law firms have always depended on library and information professionals to support the research needs of their lawyers, the Modern Law Library is undergoing a paradigm shift. Success now depends on the library taking a more active role in the organization, to help support the day-to-day business of law. One such way is providing interdepartmental support.

A few examples of this include:

  • Embracing new roles in Conflicts Support for new business intake.
  • Partnering with Marketing to provide competitive intelligence to support the RFP process.
  • Partnering with IT to identify and beta-test software.
  • Driving Knowledge Management.

Becoming a Modern Law Library is not done overnight, or in a week or month. It is complex and includes many little steps in order for a Law Library to modernize. In sum, the Modern Law Library is a trendsetter, evaluating and embracing new techniques, ideas and technology to help support business processes.

Feit Consulting offers Modern Library Audits, 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 today.

Jan 13

Billables: A Metric of the Modern Law Library

By Michael Feit | Benchmarking , Budgeting , Modern Law Library , Pricing

Seeking out new ways to (bill) financially support the library is a core element of the library modernization.  Feit Consulting’s research found that 94% of Libraries that deem themselves “modern” are billing for their time.

Billing for Library time and research services is an easy metric to illustrate use and ROI, if your firm has the necessary tools in place.

Here are 3 tips for how to implement appropriate billing practices.

  1.  Monthly Monitoring – You can work with Finance to obtain monthly reports.  These monthly reports allows one to see which attorneys are passing on costs or writing off your time.  This information provides talking points for conversations with attorneys, shedding light on which attorneys are billing and which are not.
  2. Highlight Expertise – For some, the title of librarian is not optimal for billing.  If the case, it could be time to change the billing title to analyst or senior analyst.  This provides an opportunity to dispel the librarian stereotype.  Many attorneys are not aware of the librarian credentials and subject expertise.  
  3. Create a Billing Structure – There are various ways billing can occur.  The Library’s time can be directly billed to usage.  Alternatively, the Library’s costs could be divided evenly amongst all attorneys. 

Billing time allows the Library to function like a business, and provides data for annual budget development.  If these conversations are not yet part of one’s annual budget development, it can feel uncomfortable at first but is necessary to becoming a Modern Library.


Jun 16

How does your Spend Per Attorney compare?

By Kate | Contract Negotiations , Pricing , White Papers

Imagine you want to buy a house, but you can’t find out how much any other house on the street sold for. Welcome to the world of Lexis and Westlaw pricing. The secretive nature makes it nearly impossible to know whether your firm has optimal pricing.

Feit Consulting’s latest white paper, Optimizing Legal Information Pricing sheds light on the market by providing our view of the market and, in particular, on the Spend Per Attorney metric.

Additionally, the report provides detailed metrics and market benchmarks on usage, discounts, excluded costs, and recovery. The report also includes guidance for achieving optimal pricing on Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg, Wolters Kluwer and other legal information products. Click here to learn more about this report.

Mar 22

The Value of Electronic Resource Management (ERM) Tools for Law Firms

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Resources

There is great value in providing metrics to management on the utilization of library resources. To be a truly modern library, you need to be able to access and analyze real-time data about your online subscriptions and library services and how they are being utilized. With many Electronic Resource Management (ERM) tools on the market, if your firm doesn’t already have one in place, it may be the time to consider such an investment. While the upfront expense might seem significant, presenting the purchase to management in a business case and showing return on investment that the ERM will provide can go far to help management better understand the value of the purchase.

The data analysis and insight an ERM tool provides in evaluating electronic subscriptions for renewal or cancellation may in fact help to offset the actual costs of the ERM purchase. In terms of contract negotiations for electronic subscriptions, ERMs provide you with the raw data regarding actual usage of your online vendors.  This is powerful information and can help guide your decisions on whether to retain or cancel an expensive subscription or try to negotiate a lower fee if usage is low. You can pull reports and chart usage with ease based on a wide variety of criteria, including office location, practice group, individual user, and date ranges. The canned reports allow you the flexibility of charts and graphs to help explain to management library expenses, especially at budget time. ERMs can also fulfill many other functions.

Key benefits and capabilities of ERMs:

  • Help manage your contracts.
  • Review research queries within databases to identify users who may require additional training.
  • Utilize password management tools to make it easy for users to hop onto databases by having their passwords pre-populated and allow users instant access to firm-wide resources.

  • Identify the top users of online resources to inform them of database enhancements and additional training.

  • Analyze usage, allowing the library to market any under-utilized online resources.

  • Avoid out-of-contract costs by including warning screens and messaging in online databases to direct your users to alternate resources when they go to excluded content.

  • As many ERMs allow for client/matter number validation, track and bill clients for time spent performing research on databases.

  • Promote mobile research and access to online resources and passwords.

  • By tracking research and reference queries, many ERMs allow users to submit research requests online, which provides a centralized place to manage library research requests and allows for easy reporting of statistics.
  • Track metrics that make it easier to communicate the value of the library to firm management.

A few key players in this space are Priory Solutions (ResearchMonitor)OneLog, and Lucidea (LookUp Precision). As described above, the ERM product suite is robust. You do not have to buy everything at once. Assess your immediate needs and go from there. Purchase and implement; then see how the product allows you to calculate metrics. Show that data to management. In doing so, future ERM module purchases will be easier for management to understand because they are already seeing the power of the ERM tool. `

Feb 27

Of course usage matters!

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Contract Negotiations , White Papers

Usage is the purest barometer of how valuable a tool is to an organization. How much you use any product or service is your best indicator of how valuable it is.

So maybe this is why legal information vendors no longer want to talk about usage. If it is clear that usage has declined, then discussing this would undermine any reasoning for an increase in your next contract.

When Lexis and Westlaw considered usage as a factor in pricing, many big-city and larger Am-Law firms had the highest usage. Therefore, these firms were unfortunately locked in at higher pricing than the rest of the market.

Today, while these vendors do not recognize usage as a relevant factor, this does not mean your firm should acquiesce.

If your firm is curious about metrics to use in contract negotiations and how your firm compares to the market, consider our next report, Optimizing Legal Information Pricing.