It takes about five months, on average, to fill an in-house attorney position

Data from a robust survey reported in InsideCounsel, March 2007 at 59, gives us some understanding about how long it takes to fill a corporate lawyer slot. The question asked of the law department respondents was, “On average, how long does it take to fill an attorney position?”

More than six months (11.3%)
Three months to six months (57.6%)
One month to three months (27%)
Two weeks to one month (3.9%)
Less than two weeks (0.2%).

As with all multiple choice questions, once you see the data you wish the surveyor had dropped the range choices and instead given choices by number of months: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 6 or more.

Anyway, my guess would be that in the one-to-three month bracket the more common times was closer to three months, while in the next bracket up four or five months would account for most of the hires. If you can accept these assumptions, it looks like the five month mark would be the most representative (See my post of Oct. 6, 2006 on the importance of streamlining hiring decisions.).

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