Thursday, July 08, 2010

Bloomberg Enters Legal Research Market

Westlaw and LexisNexis are now targets of Bloomberg Law, the formidable financial data publisher that hopes to extend its reach to law firm desktops across the country. An article in today's Wall Street Journal titled "Bloomberg Hangs New Shingle" tells the story.

Over the past five years, Bloomberg has reportedly hired 250 full-time attorneys to analyze court and other legal documents for online publication in their new product.

There are two key points that this Rainmaking Lady finds interesting from a business development perspective:

1. Bloomberg Law goes beyond legal documents to integrate complementary data sources like corporate filings, stock charts, links to information about judges and corporate counsel, as well as information that can point to potential conflicts. In this regard, the bigger picture helps the law firm rainmaker improve the effectiveness of a business development campaign.

2. Flat fees of $495 per month per attorney for the Bloomberg product challenge the more complex usage-based pricing models of competitors. Since alternative billing arrangements are a big topic in legal circles these days, it is useful to see how a more straightforward price schedule for legal research can be effective in gaining market share within law firms.

Competition is a difficult but ultimately critical market-driven factor that will result in better products at better prices. The holistic approach of Bloomberg Law offers additional tools for successful legal marketing.

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