Smaller law departments should make adjustments when comparing themselves to benchmarks dominated by large departments

Larger law departments, those with say fifteen or more lawyers, tend to be in companies with equivalently more revenue. Since economies of scale in legal spending benefit those larger departments, surveys whose participants are skewed toward large companies will produce distorted, lower benchmarks (See my post of Dec. 16, 2010: data from $10 and $20 billion companies.).

Total legal spending as a percentage of revenue suffers the most, since it declines with company size in a fairly constant and predictable trend. Other than lawyers per billion of revenue, which also declines, although less regularly than total spending, most metrics hold fairly constant. General counsel in smaller departments should take account of the their size relative to the median size of the population, unless they can obtain metrics for their own size category.

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