Practice area metrics for litigators: a proposal for a combined, scaled descriptor

Here is a possible metric for in-house litigation managers. It combines of two measures that capture workload and complexity. The absolute number of cases overseen by a litigator would be one component; the other the total amount spent on outside counsel by a litigator. You would have to scale the two components, such as one to 10 cases equals one, 11-20 cases equals two, and so forth. At the same time, perhaps, $0 to $500,000 paid to outside counsel equals one, $500,000 to $1M equals two, etc.

It may be that the variety of cases is a confounding factor, but I think that the number incorporates this notion of cases covering different areas of law (See my post of April 2, 2005 regarding six litigation metrics.).

If you could gather enough data from litigators using the same scales – and possibly modify it according to the data you obtain – you could characterize the intensity of any one lawyer’s litigation load. The two scales normalize everyone’s data across the litigation group according to the two most important indicators of workload. My presumption is that there is some level of optimal effectiveness, above which more cases or spending is associated with diminished effectiveness.

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