Monday, May 16, 2005

The Rise of Legal Research Firms in Canada

An article in the May 13 edition of The Lawyers Weekly (print only) documents the emergence in Canada of firms offering professional legal research, writing and analysis to small law firms and solo practitioners who can't afford in-house research teams (or library staff).

The article, "Legal research firms could bridge gap between haves and have-nots" (p.6) profiles one firm in particular, Vancouver's OnPoint Legal Research Law Corp. It also mentions Calgary-based Bottom Line Research & Communications.

Legal observers explain that their appearance on the scene is part of the larger trend for many small- and medium-sized firms to outsource their research.

While there used to be freelancers who would offer their services, a number of forces have converged to "make the timing right" for the launch of specialized legal research firms: "more people with legal training now desire the flexibility of working as a researcher and a scarcity of positions in firms means more lawyers are willing to take on research roles."

For a more general examination of the rise of the "research lawyer" within law firms and of the potential for independent research firms, take a look at the article Research and rescue in the October 2004 issue of National, the Canadian Bar Association magazine.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:36 pm

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