Geek #1 and I had the opportunity to get a preview of the new Lexis Practice Advisor (LPA) Corporate Counsel Module. Now you might wonder why the two of us would care about such a product, given our roles in large firms. Well … it’s precisely those roles that make this new tool an interesting development.
We have previously reviewed LPA versions on 3 Geeks and found the product platform to be useful. We especially appreciate how the product targets segments of the legal market versus trying to be all things to all people. Given the name – Corporate Counsel – this version is obviously focused on in-house lawyers.
However, in-house lawyers are actually a diverse group. So Lexis took this a step further in to the segment and targeted a general business practice for in-house counsel. So the product is focused on meeting the day-to-day demands of a general transactional in-house lawyer.
And it does it well. The content and tools are on target for this segment. The content is centered on hundreds of legal forms, such as agreements, contracts and other transactional instruments that include checklists and related content. This material allows in-house counsel to respond to the needs of their internal business unit clients quickly and effectively. In addition to rich content, the service includes a human element – for questions related to the content and its use.
Does this type of tool take business from lawyers? Probably – but that’s a good thing. When I hear lawyers refer to legal work as ‘commodity’ this is really what that mean. This is a relatively low-value type of service, but it meets immediate and pressing needs and solves very real problems for clients.
My bottom-line: It is both interesting and refreshing to see Lexis developing a service like this and targeting the client side of the market with it. I think this service will definitely benefit in-house lawyers. Part of the interesting aspect of this will be seeing if (or more likely when) other providers will start selling legal-related products directly to clients. This product has the potential to validate that market approach. I could see other players taking advantage of similar high-pain, price sensitive markets that lawyers have essentially abandoned.