It seems so simple, but how do we know the total spend by U.S. legal departments?

The size of the U.S. legal services industry, the term used in a Rand report just released, “Innovations in the Provision of Legal Services in the United States,” remains undecided. Rand’s study has more data that might clarify the number. Rand cites the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis estimate in 2009 that the legal services industry generated almost $282 billion in output.

It would be squaring the circle to reconcile all the estimates I have collected just this year for the U.S. legal industry (See my post of March 27, 2011: market concentration of spend – perhaps $70 billion by the Fortune 500 and $60 billion to US law firms; Oct. 25, 3011 #2: $60 billion global and $200 billion U.S. litigation figures; Oct. 28, 2011: $100 billion U.S. corporate legal market as 20% of global market; and Nov. 21, 2011 #3: Jomati Consultants – “American legal market” generated around $255 billion.). Someday I may try to reconcile the various estimates and their methodologies.

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