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Odd metrics from the ACC 2004 survey of US corporate counsel

In 2004, ACC posted a web survey and e-mailed invitations to 33,468 in-house counsel. A summary reported the results from the 1,814 responses.

The median number of US-based attorneys was “slightly over 6” while non-US-based attorneys were “less than one.” Corresponding medians for paralegals (3.0) and other legal support staff (3.3) was greater than for non-US based support staff (“less than one”). Taken together, the median total law department reported 13-14 total employees.

Here is the oddity. “The median legal budget for the entire company, including personnel, operations, administration, occupancy expenses and outside counsel fees is $1.8 million.” The median outside counsel fees were $960,000 of that total expenditure. That leaves just under $900,000 for the total of 13-14 employees, which at about $150,000 per lawyer is much too low. Other surveys show that inside spending per lawyer runs at $300,000 or more, not half that figure as reported by ACC.

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