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Tragically Candid:

The Insider’s Guide to Legal Research Contracts

Tragically Candid

Many years ago, a mentor of mine at LexisNexis told me I was “tragically candid”.  I thought it was a compliment; it probably was not.  In keeping with that description of me, this blog is devoted to providing honest and unvarnished direction about ways firms can be better at negotiating contracts with their legal research vendors. 

-Prinicpal Member, Ken Purce

Research Contract Consultants Expands Executive Leadership Team, Welcomes Jeff Snider, Partner

Jeff brings over 15 years of legal industry leadership and expertise—including over a decade at LexisNexis–helping law firms better negotiate their research contracts, ensuring they achieve the right mix of products at the industry’s best in market rates. Read more here.

 The Cost of Lexis and Westlaw’s AI

It’s been 12 months since the public release of ChatGPT and now it seems every legal tech vendor has “game-changing” generative AI features—and this, of course, includes the two primary legal research providers, LexisNexis and Westlaw.

While potentially true, we simply don’t yet know whether the impact of AI functionality now available through Westlaw and Lexis will be the game-changer both companies believe it will be. We do know, however, that the costs to upgrade your current subscription to their AI functionality is very steep.

What options do firms have to combat these steep increases?

Investigate switching vendors.  Here’s why this is important right now. Read more here.

Research Contract Consultants Welcomes Tom O’Brien, Partner

Research Contract Consultants (RCC), the legal industry’s leading legal research contracts consultancy, today welcomes Tom O’Brien as Partner at the firm.  Tom brings over 25 years of experience in legal research, including two decades of senior leadership experience at LexisNexis prior to joining RCC, to drive critical business value to RCC clients.

It is more expensive than ever to operate a law firm:  associate pay continues to increase and overhead expenses – especially including technology and legal research expenses – continue to rise seemingly unabated.

In legal research, firms are historically challenged to make informed decisions to control the costs of their contracts because of the lack of transparency in the pricing practices of the industry’s leading providers, Lexis and Westlaw.  Even more recently with the introduction of AI into their platforms, librarians and information services professionals are challenged to understand the value and justification for steep price increases.

In his new role at RCC, Tom’s expertise negotiating legal research contracts and his intimate understanding of the decision-making process law firms face are invaluable, as he  helps law firms determine the best outcome for their legal research needs, assists with the negotiations between providers, and delivers proven cost saving methods. Read more here.

Use Your Resources – Take Control

While law firms try to navigate the uncertainty this virus has created in so many aspects of their businesses, the adage “control what you can control” takes on even more importance than ever. 

Over the last month I’ve talked with firms that have taken drastic actions; reducing salaries, limiting partner draws, stopping retirement plan contributions and letting employees go, in an effort to exert control over the new financial reality facing them.  All considered painful, but necessary, decisions. Read more here.

5 Ways Law Firms Consistently Hurt Themselves Negotiating Legal Research Contracts

Since this is the inaugural edition of Tragically Candid, let me put my bona fides out front in an effort to give you confidence in what you are about to read.  I’ve been a practicing attorney in New York, had a 20-year career at LexisNexis where I was Vice President of Sales and, for the last 5 years, been a private consultant to law firms negotiating research contracts on their behalf with Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg, etc. Read more here

Survey Says…probably not what you think

Its contract renewal time for the firm’s Westlaw or Lexis subscription.   You’ve worked with the sales reps from both companies, maybe allowed them to do a demo to the firm and gone to the trouble of getting competing proposals from both vendors.  How do you decide which vendor to choose? Read more here