WestlawNext and Lexis Advance Pricing
Firms pay a flat rate for whatever content package they purchase. For example, a firm may purchase a Maryland-only package, and material from other states is outside the firm's plan. The firm has unlimited use of materials in the plan during the duration of the contract, without additional charge.
If an attorney gets a result in their search which is outside of the plan, they get a warning that the document is outside their plan. If the attorney decides to access that document, they are charged an additional fee for that out-of-plan document. Of course, some of these out-of-plan documents may be accessed on the Internet for free, or from a lower cost database.
Note that a document delivery charge for downloading/printing may apply in addition to the cost of viewing the document. WestlawNext gives the option of hourly (charged by the amount of time you are on the document) or transactional (charged per document fee).
Please note that in the Classic version of Westlaw and Lexis, you can select either transactional or hourly billing. There may be an additional document delivery cost (printing/downloading/email). You can choose per document or per line billing. Westlaw may charge an additional communication cost per minute. There is a charge for retrieving a document via Get/Find a Document and and a charge to run a Shepard's or Keycite.
Flat rate – Firms usually have a fixed rate contract negotiated with the vendor depending on firm past or predicted use. Some of the databases may be outside the contract and incur additional fees for access.
Transactional – You incur a charge for each search. The price per search depends on the file you select – the larger the file, the higher the fee. Start with the smallest file that you need, then conduct a broad search, using Focus or Locate commands to narrow results within your search results to avoid a new search charge.
Hourly – The hourly fee for searching each file depends on its size and complexity. Start with the smallest file you need, print off a cite list, and view your results offline.
There may be an additional document delivery cost (printing/downloading/email). You can choose per document or per line billing.
Cost Recovery: What the firm charges to a client. Not all firms bill research costs to clients. Some firms include research costs as part of overhead, or only pass along the out-of-plan costs.
Cost Recovery vs. Actual Cost to the Firm - Even if a firm has a flat rate plan, the firm may still bill clients per transaction or hourly. Ask the librarian or other person in charge of databases and billing to find out how clients are billed so you can keep the costs down.