In a recent benchmarking project, we asked whether the participating law departments include in their inside budget the value of stock options and restricted stock they grant their lawyers. Only one company includes the value of stock options, which accounted for about eight percent of its inside budget.
Law departments ought to include in their inside budget the value of stock options and restricted stock that they grant. Those equity awards, which can be valued (See my post of Jan. 17, 2006 about Black-Scholes) are part of the total cost to the company of sustaining a law department.
Whether or not your law department includes this cost, your should keep the possibility in mind when you compare benchmark figures.