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Some reasons why benchmark survey participants one year do not take part the next year

As I watch last year’s participants in the General Counsel Metrics benchmark survey return to the fold this year, I have wondered why some do not. Several possible explanations have occurred to me. These reasons, other than the first one about cost, apply generally to my efforts as well as to the Hildebrandt law department benchmark survey, the ACC-Empsight survey, and the ALM benchmark survey (purchased a few years ago from Altman Weil).

Budget cuts preclude participation. If a law department doesn’t want to spare $600 to $2,000, that’s it.

Participants might not have found the survey report useful to them. The most likely reason, I think, is that the industry they are in was not adequately represented.

Others drop out because the general counsel, who cared about benchmarks, retired or shifted interests.

A few mergers or spinoffs took their toll and those departments do not exist or are in flux.

Some might take a pass the second year because the results put them in a bad light. Since little has changed in the way of staff numbers or expenditures, why bother to confirm that you are above median?

Then, too, people simply get busy, e-mail reminders are filtered out or lost, or the task falls through the proverbial crack.

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