Donna F. Cavallini is principal, InfoFirst LLC, a research, competitive intelligence and marketing consulting firm serving professional service firms, industry organizations, and companies, both public and private. Ms. Cavallini has almost twenty years’ experience in the legal information profession in a wide variety of settings, including academic, governmental, and both large and small law firm. She is a regular contributor to information professional listservs and newsletters, has been a speaker for professional groups both large and small, and co-authored with Genie Tyburski, Introduction to Online Legal, Regulatory, and Intellectual Property Research, published last year. Ms. Cavallini received a B.A. in Classics from Washington University and a J.D. from St. Louis University. She is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries, Special Libraries Association (Legal and Competitive Intelligence Divisions) and the Association of Independent Information Professionals.
In the effort to remain competitive amidst the pressures and challenges of an increasingly consolidated legal marketplace, law firms are shifting from the private club to the corporate business model, and in borrowing liberally from the corporate playbook, one of the hottest topics is competitive intelligence. Competitive intelligence (CI) enables lawyers to focus their client and prospect business development efforts to achieve the greatest return on investment of their time. Although resourceful law librarians and law firm marketing professionals have in the past resorted to extracting CI data from various existing databases of legal information, LexisNexis has streamlined and simplified the process with its recent launch of LexisNexis(R) Market Intelligence, a powerful suite of tactical intelligence tools specifically designed to support the CI data gathering and analysis needs of the legal community.
LexisNexis(R) Market Intelligence combines CourtLink®, Martindale-Hubbell®, and Company and Industry Dossier in a new product specifically created for medium to large law firms. It allows searchers to seamlessly navigate between its various components to evaluate both new business prospects and opportunities for cross-selling and increasing market share for existing clients, to identify litigation trends, to become knowledgeable about client and prospect business and industry issues, and even to evaluate potential merger candidates.
Comprised of already familiar research tools, the learning curve is already relatively flat, but Market Intelligence goes even further to ensure that attorneys and marketers fully leverage their firm’s investment in the product by providing a Learning Center which identifies and explains best practices for the product’s use.
Other features which differentiate the product from its existing component products include the ability to create custom profiles based on specific practice areas or regions and advanced analytics downloads and macros which allow users to benchmark client share over time, compare a company’s litigation profile to a particular market’s litigation profile, or identify company industry issues and legislative activity that may impact company operations.
The internet-based product is marketed under a three-tiered subscription option plan. The most basic/minimum subscription option provides firmwide access to strategic profiles (litigant, attorney/law firm, judicial, nature of suit); firmwide access to alerts (which notify you when, for example, a client or prospect is sued) is added at the next subscription level. Subscription to the full package of product capabilities includes, in addition to strategic profiles and alerts, the company and industry dossier package (which will allow a user to do prospect research, by identifying, for example, chemical manufacturers in California with revenues of 100 million or more), but this component is priced on a per-seat basis.
On The Horizon
LexisNexis has several product enhancements already in the pipeline. Product upgrades launching beginning this summer and continuing through the first quarter of 2006 will include new analytics and tracking tools, including the ability to examine law firm trends and representation over time. Another product integration expected by the first quarter of 2006, and one which addresses really the only product downside discernible upon my review, will be the ability to select components of a report from amongst the various services and have them print out or save in one document. Also planned are additional state profiles beyond the five jurisdictions currently available (New York State Supreme Courts, statewide, Cook County Circuit Court, Miami-Dade County Circuit and County Courts, Los Angeles County Superior Court, and Delaware Court of Chancery), and transactional content beyond the currently available M&A records and SEC filings, including equity financing, components which will make the product attractive to a broader practice base.
With its intuitive search interface screens and helpful practice tips, LexisNexis(R) Market Intelligence is highly recommended not only for librarians who provide research in support of business development but also for marketing professionals.