One of my friends (who also happens to be a Westlaw Rep) mentioned that she had some clients that were confused when I discussed “Cost Recovery” in the past:

They are on flat rates, and are small 3 or 4 atty firms….so they were relieved to learn that oddly enough, usage has nothing to do with their pricing and they can use the fire out of it without raising their bill. I was relieved to see that you explained that in the update – thank you!. In my world, 100% of my customers have flat fee subscriptions, and they read your column too. It provided me a wonderful opportunity to explain how their plan works, but the situation was eye opening to me. 

First of all, I’m thrilled that her clients are reading my blog (or is she just saying that to kiss-up??… oh well, either way is great!) Second, I should warn anyone that reads this blog that we have a terrible slant toward how things are done in BigLaw. Toby’s not as bad at is as I am… but, it’s kind of what we know.

I thought that I’d put together a short little presentation that describes the basics of cost recovery (at least in some big firms.) I created this in PowerPoint, then converted it to video using The conversion caused a few timing issues, but for a freebie… I’m not complaining! (okay… I’m now complaining. Unfortunately, PowerShow’s presentation is an “auto start” “auto repeat” process that is apparently impossible to turn off, so I’ve embedded the presentation from authorSTREAM instead.)  If for some reason you can’t see this because your IT department seems to think that “embedded video” = “porn” … then you can download the presentation by clicking here. Again, it is a very, very basic overview of how firms recover the cost of Westlaw or LexisNexis searches, but sometimes basic is what we need.