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Tell law firms where they rank on metrics that matter to you, without identifying the firms

To spur your key law firms, tell them how they compare to their competitors. This idea comes from Inside Counsel, June 2009 at 50, which recounts the tactic of Jim Bencer, the general counsel of Williams Co. His legal group “notifies its law firms of its diversity goals along with the fact that it will anonymously share their results, which it measures based on percentages of minorities and women in their firms. Williams then tells the firms how they rank, recognizing those that made the most progress and had the best overall statistics.”

A legal team could apply this tactic to several areas. For example, effective cost per hour, ratios of partner to associate hours, training hours provided the client, matters coming in under budget, percentage of bills processed without rule infractions through e-billing. Any measure of performance could be collected and distributed, anonymously, as a comparative performance metric.