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$2,500 per lawyer per day: the human scale of total legal department spending

Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot, The Numbers Game (Gotham Books 2009) at 18, gave me the idea to translate legal department spend into dollars per lawyer per day. We can all grasp more easily such human-scale metrics.

I started with the departments that have participated in the global benchmarking survey of General Counsel Metrics. In total, nearly 400 companies have so far submitted complete data on what they spent in 2009. The total exceeds $10.377 billion for their internal law department plus their external counsel expenses.

Having also compiled from those companies 11,295 lawyers, we can figure out what the massive group spent each day in 2009, per lawyer on their legal expenditures. For each individual in-house lawyer, the weighted average per day reached $2,517 per lawyer.

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