No We’re Not Taking The Pith.. Just A Few Pithy Comments About Bloomberg Law

As  the 2014 database wars heat up what better than one of our spies in the cab highlighting a few issues with the new boy on the block….Here at HOB we find the reality somewhat depressing as there was such a great opportunity for them to provide a positive alternative  to the white whales.

Our source bullets some scattered Bloomberg data points.

1. I heard Mike Walsh say at a meeting that his biggest nightmare is that Bloomberg Law gets serious.

2. Every West and Lexis sales rep. tells customers that Bloomberg is a news company that does law as a sideline. Bloomberg is not serious in law.

3. Imagine a customer, after hearing the West and Lexis sales pitch, goes to visit Bloomberg. He sees Bloomberg law folks, sitting at rows of desks, typing away at Bloomberg Financial terminals. He’s going to have the same reaction I have every time I see it These folks are not serious about law.

I saw a job ad for working as a lawyer at Bloomberg. They touted their wide open office way of working. I kept thining, “How do I conform to the rules of professional responsibility where everyone can hear everyone else’s phone conversation?

Bloomberg is serious about enforcing high culture—a news culture. That takes precedent above all else.

I have seen BLAW’s NYC office several times. Rows of tables. Everyone is at Bloomberg financial terminals.  I heard that they are busy converting the BNA building in Virginia to conform to Bloomberg’s News Culture. (Q: How many BLAW customers do their day-to-day work on a Bloomberg Financial Terminal?)

4. There are a lot of former Bloomberg Law folks working at LexisNexis (maybe West as well). I got to know quite few of them and they had nothing but bad things to say about Bloomberg Law. They said Bloomberg clocks them in and out. They would measure them for al their tasks. One told me that the group was being measured on may many documents they produced. The project got canceled. However, the people keep producing the documents because that was what they were measured on.

5. According to the ABA survey, Bloomberg BNA makes nearly all their money from the BNA part. Bloomberg Law itself is just a blip.

6. Bloomberg is not packed with West/LexisNexis/W-K retreads. However, they do copy them in a lot of ways. They invested a fortune to create BCITE, that looks a like like Keycite. According to this guy

they could have done it a lot cheap and better if they had not copied West.

They also copied the Google box.

7. Interestingly, Bloomberg BNA has a lot of lawyers with technology backgrounds working there. When I was at  “????”  I heard there was just one in the entire company and they laid him off.

8. Imagine the customer coming to a bloomberg office. They meet with developers with JD degrees. They visit their offices with their diplomas and licenses hanging on the wall. The office looks like a law office but it is a high technology office where the Bloomberg lawyer technologists work like lawyers and try out new ways to improve the ways lawyers work. They have duel monitors. Voice recognition, Touch screens.—–NOT HAPPENING.

9. Bloomberg never attends Legaltech.

10. If I were Mike Walsh, my biggest nightmare would be Fastcase getting a $500,000,000 investment.