Law department leaders can use the survey to evaluate their outside counsel's hourly billing rates, billable hours and financials relative to comparable law firms. The statistics included in the survey represent broad performance benchmarks against which any individual firm can be measured. Using this information, law department management can compare their outside counsel's performance with those of the profession as a whole, as well as with firms of similar size, geographic location, population, practice specialty, etc.
This survey will be particularly useful to General Counsel, managing lawyers, administrators, and office or department heads who already make comparative analyses of the various outside counsel statistical data and metrics.
This study is undertaken annually. An invitation to participate was sent to a selected group of law firms. These are firms that have had prior contact with ALM Legal Intelligence and include past participants and purchasers of our various surveys. Invitations to participate were also sent to various members of the Association of Legal Administrators and other law firm management mailing lists.
Only U.S. law firms are included in this study. Sole practitioners are excluded from this report. ALM Legal Intelligence has a separate report on small U.S. law firms entitled the Small Law Firm Economic Survey. This survey includes information furnished by sole practitioners through law firms with up to 20 lawyers. Information was collected in several areas for each lawyer who worked at the participating law firm for the previous year. Earnings and billable hours information is included only for individuals who worked full-time for the entire year.