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ACC 2004 survey data on legal research expenditures by US corporate law departments

ACC and its co-sponsor, Lexis Nexis, reported survey results in 2004 from 1,814 law department responses.

The summary states: “The average per month budget for legal research is nearly $19,000, with the median at $5,000. The budget for online and dial-up services averages around $1,000 annually, making it only a small portion of the total annual legal research budget.” (Confused?)

As described in an earlier post, the median inside budget of the respondents was about $840,000 a year – which the post challenges as being too low, meaning “legal research” at $60,000 per year (12 times the $5,000 figure) would account for 7 percent of the inside budget. That has got to be too high a figure.

Whether or not, that median figure of $5,000 needs much clarification. Does it include subscriptions and acquisitions by libraries? Does it include payments to legal research firms? Does it include payments made to law firms who research areas of law? One might suppose that Lexis Nexis wanted data about spending for online legal research, so the answers to these three questions would be “no.”

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