/ November 2, 2011

Law Firm Finances: The Problem and [Part of] the Solution

In my last entry, I discussed a report on law firm finances by Dan DiPietro, of Citibank’s Private Banking Group . While the report was generally positive and even optimistic regarding the stabilization and in some cases increase in law firm revenues since the onset of “the troubles,” it sounded a very serious cautionary note about profits, viz. that profits were coming under pressure because expenses were rising faster than revenue, in large part because the cuts of the last thirty months were proving unsustainable in the normal course of business: computers wear out, software must be acquired, leases have to be negotiated, etc.

Can we help?  Yes, we can.  We can help firms control their usage and costs on huge legal research contracts with a Fastcase subscription that can make their legal research efforts more effective and more efficient.  The proactive move toward lowering legal research costs can stave off or eliminate the severity of more draconian cuts in personnel, research materials, professional development funding that will inevitably ensue—indeed, have ensued with an appalling and sometimes irrational severity—when the perception of “these costs are out of control” prevails.

Your clients, many of them, are no longer paying for research, and the ones who are resent it.  A survey published by LTN in the spring examined the attitude of corporate clients toward law firm cost recovery efforts.  Needless to say, legal research costs were the chief irritant.  When you use Fastcase for all or part of the research on a matter, you use a resource that even the most price-sensitive client and price-conscious CFO can agree to love.

You can employ innovative Fastcase technology (sort within results, Forecite, interactive time line, etc.) to get the cases you need more quickly, in a more usable format, with backup, citation history and visualization tools.  Cut your research time and costs and make the client happy.

All-inclusive, no surprise Fastcase subscriptions give certainly of billing and thus help to avoid awkward conversations with the practice group manager, CFO or COO.

It is axiomatic that the most expensive part of every legal research contract is the save/e-mail/print function.  Of course, there is no charge for these functions within the Fastcase database, but we go further and offer firm-wide subscribers at no additional charge Fastcase Cloud Printing, a three-part enhancement that lets users find and save or print cases encountered in briefs, memoranda and–most usefully–on other legal research resources, e.g. Lexis and West, anything that is in your Internet Explorer browser.

It’s a tough world.  Let Fastcase help make it easier on you!

Chuck Lowry handles enterprise sales for Fastcase.  He can be reached at clowry@fastcase.com or 703.740.5941.

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