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A technique to evaluate competitive proposals

When a number of law firms propose to handle one or more matters of a law department, through a competitive-bid process, it can be a challenge to choose among the firms. Usually the firms answer a number of questions, some of which are objective – number of lawyers, diversity percentages – and some of which are subjective – how will you work with our law department, what is your experience with this type of matter.

One method to help in the process is to create an evaluation scale for each question, say from one to five, where each point on the scale has a pre-defined description. Then, the reviewers can look at each proposal and pick what point value the firm should get based on the evaluation scale.

A further step is to weight each of the questions that are scored according to how important the answers to it are to the law department. Not every piece of the response is equally important in the final decision (See my post of Sept. 3, 2006 on competitive bids.).