Top metrics for law departments by Corp. Legal Standard should topple

Earlier I savaged three of the 27 general metrics proposed by the Corporate Legal Standard (See my post of Sept. 13, 2006.). My poison pen still has ink in it.

Two of the metrics concern themselves with “the ratio of cost of legal research conducted” by outsourcing firms as compared to law firms (No. 10) or internally as compared to externally (No. 11). Sorry, neither metric matters an iota to law departments.

One metric excludes law firms of less than 6-7 lawyers – the plurality of US law departments – because it looks at the “ratio of non-management in-house attorneys to in-house attorneys” (No. 17). Not only is the definition of “management attorney” elusive and arguable, in smaller departments only the general counsel manages other lawyers. If management extends to secretaries or paralegals, every lawyer is likely to be a “management attorney.”

One more nonsense metric: “Percentage of law firm invoices processed without question by in-house lawyer (sic) or law firm and within budget” (No. 18). Bizarre, useless, and completely confusing – but otherwise a fine metric.

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