A nine-box tool and a use: match law firms to type of legal services

If you go one past the well-known two-by-two matrix, you have a three-by-three matrix, referred to sometimes as a nine-box. When you categorize data or concepts in such a nine-cell format, you can make finer gradations than with the classic four cells (See my posts about 2-by-2 quadrants of Aug. 28, 2005 on SWOT analysis; Oct. 1, 2005 on the Johari window; and March 12, 2006 on their use in an analysis of law firms.).

For example, you might classify your law firms as primarily local, national and global (See my post of March 1, 2006 for this taxonomy, along with boutique firms.) and the matters you assigned in the previous 12 months as relatively simple, normal, or complex. If you then match the matters to the firms – which is a crude match obviously – you can see more clearly whether the best level of firm has gotten work at its capability level.

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