My hypothesis runs like this: as companies generate more revenue for each employee, they are likely to be in higher margin industries, less labor intensive, more intellectual property intensive. As such, per employee they probably have more lawyers in-house.
This speculation came to me as I read in the ACC Docket, March 2010 at 90, about Cox Communications. The $8.5 billion company has 23,000 employees and an internal legal department of 17 lawyers. Cox, therefore, generated $369,000 in revenue per employee and had two lawyers per billion of revenue. Stated in terms of other benchmarks, Cox generated $500 million per lawyer and had 1,352 employees per in-house attorney.
Ideas need legal protection and I predict that idea-rich companies have more lawyers per employee than other companies.