In a recent issue of Insights, Outsell reports on the legal, tax, & information market. In the report titled Legal, Tax & Regulatory Information: 2008 Market Forecast and Trends Report ($495 USD), Director & Lead Analyst, David Curle discusses how that market sector is faring during the economic downturn and cautions the companies in the sector to consider providing greater value.
All of these factors will continue to increase the pressures on legal information providers to provide greater value, in the form of products that solve customer problems. Our forecast identifies a number of the factors that will help publishers provide that value: helping law firms modernize and manage the business side of their practices; helping firms and corporations go global with global legal information offerings; helping firms leverage new technologies that leverage past work product; and helping them standardize those legal services that lend themselves to standardization and technology solutions.
A previous issue of Insights, written by David Curle, refers to Paul Lippe’s article, Welcome to the Future: Law after the Boom (previously referenced by Strategic Librarian in Recent Reports Covering the Economy and Law Firmsalso cautioned that legal publishers to work against disintermediation.
Every bursting bubble leaves opportunity in its wake. This is a really big burst; it might be a really big opportunity. But it will require legal information providers to look beyond what their customers need, to what their customers’ customers need. There are forces in motion that could disintermediate traditional law firms, and allow businesses to obtain legal services outside the traditional model. It is important that legal publishers not be disintermediated along with them.
David is right, the economy will have an impact on legal publishers. It may also provide an opportunity for smaller publishers and online services (including those that are free) to play a bigger part in what law firms use for information. I understand that the larger publishers have already and will have to continue to expand into products and services that meet more than the information needs of the firm.
My fear has been and still is that they will not pay as much attention to the information side as they grow other products. Will that have an impact on their market. I think the answer is yes.
~ Nina Platt