Expense reduction series: legal research

Legal research

May 07, 2013

Home Blog Expense reduction series: legal research

Legal research is a key component of any law practice and a powerful tool in the hands of the best attorneys. Yet legal research is also laborious, time-consuming, and expensive.

Online services like Westlaw® and LexisNexis® have greatly streamlined and improved the legal research process, yet they can be very costly. And dealing with them isn’t easy, as their pricing plans and policies lack the kind of transparency found in most online services today.

As a result, the cost of legal research can be one of the biggest operating expenses in large law firms, and it’s often second only to the cost of personnel in small firms.

What makes the expense of online legal research even more damaging to a law firm’s bottom line? It cannot be as billed back to clients like the old manual research time spent in a law library. According to a recent legal research cost survey reported on by the ABA Journalmore law firms are reporting that clients are either balking at or outright refusing to pay for legal research. 

Although legal searches now take a fraction of the time, they still require human intervention, and in the world of billable hours those fractions can quickly add up to big numbers. This becomes a perverse disincentive for performing effective legal research or subscribing to the best services, which can hurt the client and the firm alike. After all, good legal research can be crucial to attaining a more favorable ruling.

The expense reduction conundrum facing law firms today:

  • Legal research is a necessary expense that must be managed, yet legal research is a valuable resource that can uncover a ‘needle in the haystack’ precedent that makes a dramatic difference in the client outcomes, and of course, firm revenue.

The best law firms find a way to manage legal research expenses without hampering their legal research benefits and value. It’s the reason many have turned to LAC-Group. For a law firm, legal research expense reduction is a challenge of staying in business. For LAC Group, it IS our business.

Our Chase Cost Management (CCM) division works on behalf of legal and other business clients to find meaningful savings without compromising their service delivery or product quality. Our expertise in pricing methodology and thorough understanding of contractual terms of the major online vendors allows us to achieve significant cost savings for our clients.

That means even as law firms pay us, the savings more than make up for the money and time they would be spending otherwise. It’s like the personal story I shared in an earlier expense reduction post about the savings I gain even after paying a consultant to help reduce my property tax burden.

And lawyers know better than anyone: Time is money.

Rob Corrao

Rob Corrao

Rob Corrao is CEO of LAC Group.

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