I relish surveys and analyzing their methodology and findings (See my post of March 2, 2008: surveys of law departments with 72 references.). The most prolific survey for law department management data from this blogger’s perspective is certainly that of Serengeti Law, so I thought some public praise is well deserved.
As of today, I have cited the data accumulated by Serengeti, primarily through the hard work of Rob Thomas, at least two dozen times. During 2005-2007 I wrote about the surveys 11 times (See my post of April 5, 2005: lackluster responses to its survey; April 9, 2005: low participation rates in a survey; Aug. 5, 2005: estimates of savings from five cost-control methods; Nov. 6, 2005: budgets; Nov. 8, 2005: usefulness of requiring minimum years of experience for associates; Oct. 1, 2006: integration of service of process tracking; April 13, 2007: savings from matter management systems; May 9, 2007: response rates to legal department RFPs; May 11, 2007: minimum levels of associate experience demanded; Aug. 4, 2007: inside time spent managing outside counsel; and Oct. 25, 2007: prompt payment discounts.).
My pace of citations to Serengeti surveys picked up during the past two years (See my post of Feb. 17, 2008 #1: smaller companies spend more on legal as a percentage of revenue; Feb. 23, 2008: average annual increase in outside billing rates; April 8, 2008: reported savings from matter management; April 8, 2008: collaborative billing technologies; June 10, 2008: data on convergence; Aug. 15, 2008: compliance functions; Dec. 27, 2008: disappointment over convergence benefits; Jan. 22, 2009: top concerns of in-house counsel; March 5, 2009: “standard billing rates”; March 6, 2009: periodic written updates on matters; March 8, 2009: information about expenditures from accounts payable system; April 18, 2009: number of law firms typically used; and April 20, 2009: lower average hourly rates.).