Monday, October 11, 2010

Can Bloomberg Law compete with LexisNexis?

My school's law librarian just circulated to our faculty the below article in which upstart legal research engine Bloomberg Law announced an aggressive pricing strategy in the hopes of gaining market share.  But its flat rate of $450.00 per month for unlimited legal research is so last July in light of LexisNexis' recent announcement of a $175.00 per month flat rate for solo practitioners.  Nevertheless, Bloomberg may still appeal to BigLaw practitioners though it apparently never caught on with students.

As the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reported in July (via The PrattLawLibrarian Blog):

A flat fee of $450 per attorney per month appears to be the ace in the hole for upstart Bloomberg Law as it takes on established giants LexisNexis and Westlaw in the electronic research market.

Just as Bloomberg built a $6 billion-a-year business by taking a mystifying bundle of financial data and making it indispensable to Wall Street professionals, Bloomberg Law intends to do the same for lawyers now serviced by LexisNexis and Westlaw in the $8 billion-a-year electronic legal research business.

After an early test-marketing effort failed to win fans among law students, the company scrapped the amber-print-on-black-background design familiar to the financial industry readers of Bloomberg news columns and went back to the drawing board.

Although the still-significant $450 subscription fee will likely discourage the student market, corporate law firms rather than all practitioners may find two aspects of the Bloomberg Law service particularly appealing.

First the certainty of the pricing--both Lexis and Westlaw charge based on usage--may offer Bloomberg an edge over its well-entrenched competitors. But another advantage may prove even more valuable to law firms. The speed with which Bloomberg Law

updates its docket service is particularly attractive says Lillian Arcuri, Director of Library Services at Chadbourne & Parke.

You can read the rest of the WSJ article here.


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