A small portion of anything accounts for a large portion of importance

It is entirely probably that 80 percent of the value in this blog – perhaps wildly optimistic – exists in 20 percent of the posts. Why not, since Pareto’s Rule crops up everywhere (See my post of June 27, 2007 on Pareto’s idea and an illustration from timekeepers on a matter or for a client.).

Here are several metrics that probably honor the rule:

1. Timekeepers and hours on a firm’s bills (See my posts of Jan. 21, 2008: those who bill short time periods on matters; and Sept. 4, 2005 and Nov. 8, 2005: to the same point.).

2. Cases and citations in decisions (See my post of Feb. 16, 2006: research on citations.).

3. Patents and commercial value (See my post of March 21, 2006: few patents are worth much.).

4. Workers and output (See my post of Aug.16, 2006: 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the people.)

5. Law firms and a department’s payments

6. Matters and a department’s spending on external counsel.

7. Inside lawyers who manage outside counsel and payments to firms (See my post of May 21, 2008.).

8. Spending on converged firms (See my post of May 13, 2007: 80 percent of all work to panel of firms.).

Given the ubiquity of the ratio, we could take it as probably in several situations and even prescriptive in others. Probably 20 percent of the documents turned over in discovery account for 80 percent of the costs. As an instance of being prescriptive, a law department should have 80 percent of its fees covered by budgets on twenty percent of its matters.

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