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Assessments of legal departments by the law firms that represent them

Speaking on a panel at the SuperConference, Steve Williams of the General Counsel Roundtable displayed a dashboard for legal departments. One of the items on it was scores by law firms from evaluations they complete on the department. Law firms grade their clients? On this man-bites-dog view of the world, Williams said that “we have lots of clients who do it.”

The idea is interesting and would have merit if a range of firms completed it, if they did so honestly, and if legal departments took effective action based on the comments. But I have my doubts about all “ifs” of that scenario (See my post of Sept. 21, 2009: why partners may evade requests for candid feedback to their clients; and April 25, 2009: part of the ACC Value Commitment.).