Monthly Archives: August 2010

WestlawNext for the iPad

The WestlawNext iPad App was released on Friday. Following in the footsteps of Fastcase, this is the second full legal research system available for the iPad, but there are a bunch of other cool law related iPad Apps available.

Seems like Apple might be back ‘in’ at law firms.

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The Last Nail in the Coffin?

There has been some discussion recently in the blogosphere regarding whether or not print is finally and completely dead. I think we’ve been talking about this since the “paperless office” made its debut in in 1975 (yes…it’s been that long).

A new threat to print, in my opinion, has just made its debut. West recently announced its new casebook rental service for law students. It works like this:

Notice that the student receives instant access to an eBook, while the print book is sent. The student then ships back the print volume at the end of the rental term, and eBook access ends.

As Jason Wilson points out in his impressive post, “I’m going to speculate that 80% continue marking up the eCasebook.” I think Jason is correct in thinking that the print copy will not be used much, and will ship back to West in a virtually (no pun intended) unused condition, which allows West to rent the volume over and over again.

Jason believes that this is a win-win for West, and I have to agree, it is a brilliant strategy. However, one of my main concerns is the complete devaluation of the print book. I am sure we will arrive a point where students will actually tell West not to send the print copy. Why not? They have their eBook, why hassle with receiving and returning the print book? In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if an option in the very near future is to select whether or not you want to receive the print copy.

As West starts to “print” fewer and fewer copies, what happens to the availability of these products? Is this the start of a whole new paradigm of book selling? I have to say I’m intrigued and a bit scared…

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Friday Fun: Let’s Go Bowling

It’s almost the end of National Bowling week, so why not celebrate with a free game! Tomorrow you can participate in an attempt at breaking the World Record for number of games bowled in 24 hours.

I love bowling…except those gutter balls!

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Cost Recovery: Ebb and Flow

It seems to me that legal research cost recovery has a natural ebb and flow; sometimes it’s the hot topic and sometimes it isn’t.

Economy bad = Recover more costs!

Economy good = Cost recovery…Eh…

I wonder if this time is different? Has the economy driven a change that has established a permanent foothold and redrawn the landscape of cost recovery, or, like many other “changes,” will we just go back to the status quo? I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure. On the one hand, this seems to be one area where many clients, especially corporate ones, have drawn a line in the sand, and refused to pay. On the other hand, it seems like we’ve been here before, and not much changed the last time we had this discussion.

What ever happens, Lexis is one company that is betting on both sides of this coin (pun intended). Yesterday I read that LexisNexis announced a strategic partnership with eBillingHub, a product that helps simplify e-billing and increase collections (Thomson Reuters also partners with eBillingHub through its Elite product). Believe it or not, LexisNexis also sells CounselLink, a product designed to “identify greater savings through superior invoice technology.”

In other words, they sell a product to law firms to help with e-billing and recovery of costs, and they also sell a product to corporate law offices designed to remove those costs. It might be interesting to know how many law firms submit bills through a LexisNexis product, with LexisNexis charges, that get denied by another LexisNexis product.

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