There has been much talk lately about ‘alternative’ client billing structures. How about looking at some alternatives that will help the firm save money?
Information costs have typically been passed on to clients in three ways: retail charges, allocation and discount. All of these methods have had some success in the past, but will they work in the future? In this economy, law firms have to think outside of the box.
The Internet has leveled the playing field and created information alternatives that have grown in scope and functionality. The majority of legal research is conducted in primary sources; information that is created by courts, legislatures and agencies. This is government information that is free to the public.
Traditionally, publishers have taken this raw information and have added value in the form of indices, linking, annotations, etc., but at what price? What is the cost/value ratio to your firm for this content? Should you be comparing lower-cost alternatives for basic legal research?
Legal Research Skills = Cost Savings
Highly trained, confident associates are more cost effective and efficient when conducting legal research. A good legal researcher will need fewer bells and whistles to produce a superior work product.
Why not consider investing in an education program for your people, rather than sending all of your money to a vendor?