Published on:

Value delivered by a law department as suggested by the number of “economically significant” regulations dealt with

One way to establish the relative importance of legislation quantifies its impact either in costs imposed or benefits obtained. Researchers at Georgetown University, under Susan Dudley, Director of its Regulatory Studies Center, deem an “economically significant” consequence of a regulatory rule to mean that either the rule’s costs, or its benefits, exceed $100 million a year. (Yes, I could agree that is significant.).

By their reckoning, in the first two years of President Obama, the federal government issued 132 economically significant rules. This fascinating quantification of legal impact, and therefore I submit often a proxy for legal complexity, comes from the Economist, Jan. 22, 2011, at 35.

A law department might rank the statutes that generated those significant rules in terms of their applicability to their company’s business. The picture that results could be a way to show value delivered, since the law department helps the company navigate those requirements. Contrariwise, if the law department hasn’t focused as much on the major rules, it might reassess its priorities.