Legal research providers have gone to great lengths to be able to overcharge their customers. They keep pricing hidden behind a sales negotiation and NDAs with their customers. This is true for the largest firms all the way down to solo practices.
The dirty secret they’re trying to hide from you: You’re probably overpaying for legal research.
What does legal research actually cost?
Since Casetext is a new legal research company challenging the old guard, we’ve investigated the question of how much legal research costs deeply.
What we found using public data and word-of-mouth (basically, people complaining publicly about the costs of legal research) was stunning. Legal research costs from the traditional providers vary dramatically, even when the subscription coverage is the same: as low as $1,200/year per attorney to as high as $14,000/year per attorney — for the same plan. (The average, as far as we can tell, is around $3,600/year per attorney.)
Pricing can even vary by 3x for the same customer. Some attorneys get their first year of service for $600, but get locked into contracts that require $2,000/year for the two years after that.
Plus, the same document can have one cost if it’s “in plan” and a totally different cost if it’s “out of plan” — we’ve all heard the horror stories of the attorneys who accidentally click on something out-of-plan, and only discover their mistake when an extra $1,500 appears on their bill.
What can you do about it?
Want some help figuring out which legal research platform is the best fit for your firm? Check out the Modern Lawyer’s Guide to Legal Research Tools for an overview of the options, including pricing and features for each platform.