Deborah Letz / November 21, 2012

Three ways to control legal research costs by using Fastcase (even if you have another research provider)

This week, the ABA Journal noted that as clients have become more cost-conscious, some are refusing to pay for research costs. Of course, you still have to conduct the legal research, but consider how using Fastcase can help minimize those non-recoverable costs.

1. Increase cost recovery by shifting non-billable or discounted research.
What happens if a client informs you that he or she is unwilling to pay for your research costs? Rather than conduct the research and absorb the cost that would have been billed, use Fastcase. Fastcase allows for unlimited research at a set price. Since there’s no charge for printing, downloading, or emailing cases, you know exactly how much you’re spending before you even begin your research. By shifting research that would be discounted or otherwise non-reimbursable, your overall percentage of recoverable costs will increase. When you run fewer unrecoverable searches, you will be able to bill through a greater percentage of your research cost, thus increasing your cost recovery. Also consider adding paralegals or law clerks onto your Fastcase subscription. With the support staff using Fastcase, you can have them conduct the preliminary research and pull all the cases you need without worrying about the usage amount or cost of printing cases.

2. Stop incurring “off-plan” charges when you’re researching outside your subscription coverage.
If your other provider’s subscription is limited to your main practice jurisdiction(s) and you need to do research in another jurisdiction, use Fastcase instead of paying to go “off-plan.” A national appellate or national premium plan on Fastcase includes federal and state caselaw for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the federal statutes and most state statutes. You can quickly research surrounding jurisdictions to see how they treated a similar issue, or look up a case that’s outside your subscription and was cited by opposing counsel.

3. Use Fastcase when providing pro bono services.
Finally, in this season of giving, many of us are looking for ways to help those in need. If you provide pro bono services – or want to provide more but are held back by the cost of legal research – consider using Fastcase. The flat fee pricing and unlimited research allows you to share your services with others while still controlling your research costs.

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