The ABA Journal reported on November 14, 2012 that many clients are balking at the costs billed for use of on-line database services. Back in the day, I used one of the BIG online services. I was billed at a rate for a solo practice. My contract allowed me to research the Michigan Court opinions and statutes. I was billed a premium cost if I went outside of the contract. The other 49 states, treatises, law review articles, etc. were all outside of my contract and the cost was not small. When my search of law reviews (at $50 per search) was interrupted and I signed back on . . . there was an additional $50 charge. I billed my clients for the access charges, but not for my mistakes / problems (e.g., a dropped connection). One month my bill was $750 because I had done some very complicated research.
According to the ABA Journal,
"With clients increasingly primed to demand discounts, balk at hourly rates and refuse to pay for associate lawyers, a greater number of law firms have found themselves absorbing legal research costs as a way to shrink their clients’ tabs."
See Rachel M. Zahorsky, “Firms Wave Goodbye to Billing for Research Costs,” ABAJournal, posted Nov 14, 2012, accessed Nov 14, 2012.
Eventually, I found a better answer--an online research site that gives me everything I want at an extremely reasonable cost. My Answer: The Law.Net. When I began using this service in 2004 or 2005, it cost $1.00/day--$365/year! The cost is now only slightly more. $575/year for one lawyer & one paralegal. For this, I have access to statutes and case law in all 50 states (state and federal courts). But wait: There's more. The Virtual Assistant!
If you need a law review article, a treatise, an ALR article, something special . . . just send an email to the Virtual Assistant. The service is amazingly fast and I have never been disappointed.See TheLaw.Net here.