Minimum loss of $14,000 every time a law firm lawyer leaves your team

When attorneys at a firm who have worked significantly on a matter leave the firm, clients “incur significant costs to pay for both the learning curve of the new lawyers and the in-house lawyers time spent on training.” To quantify that intuitive sense, one legal department tracked the costs incurred and “estimates a minimum in-house department loss of $14,000 for each lawyer lost from an outside counsel team.” This finding comes from the ACC Docket, Nov. 2009 at 98, in an article about the organization, Balanomics.

The methodology by which this legal department calculated is figure is not disclosed, but if it is plausible, a law department might set a fixed write-off whenever any core lawyer leaves a team within a period of time. That would be a better technique than something vaguely worded about “we will not absorb the costs of replacement team members coming up to speed.”

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