It seems so simple, but how do we know the total spend by U.S. legal departments?
Rees Morrison, Law Department Management
It would be squaring the circle to reconcile all the estimates I have collected just this year for the U.S. legal industry (See my post of March 27, 2011: market concentration of spend – perhaps $70 billion by the Fortune 500 and $60 billion to US law firms; Oct. 25, 3011 #2: $60 billion global and $200 billion U.S. litigation figures; Oct. 28, 2011: $100 billion U.S. corporate legal market as 20% of global market; and Nov. 21, 2011 #3: Jomati Consultants – “American legal market” generated around $255 billion.). Someday I may try to reconcile the various estimates and their methodologies. (read the post)
Law Firm Billing Rates Increase Only Slightly for Third Straight Year
Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal
Large law firms increased billing rates by an average of 4.4 percent in 2011, the third year of modest increases.
The National Law Journal surveyed the nation’s 250 largest law firms to determine the average billing rate, a blend of associate and partner rates. The increase was 2.5 percent in 2009 and 2.7 percent in 2010.
Those increases “paled in comparison to the go-go, pre-recession days when firms could charge between 6 and 8 percent more each year,” the story says. (read the post)
How Metrics are Reinventing Operations in Legal Departments
Ari Kaplan, ReinventingProfessionals.com
I am in the process of finalizing a research report that will be released at LegalTech NY (click here for last year’s study) for which I spent most of the fall interviewing corporate counsel from across the country. With those conversations in mind, I recently had the chance to speak with David Samia, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Bridgeway Software, a provider of legal management tools for the Fortune 1000. We discussed how metrics are reinventing the way legal departments delivering their services. He shared his insights on changes that metrics are helping chief legal officers make and key best practices. (read the post, watch the video interview)
A typical set of outside counsel management activities, described at Marsh Mac
Rees Morrison, Law Department Management
In a recent interview, a senior lawyer at Marsh McLennan, Lucy Fato, recounted some history. “A few years ago, we started examining all the firms that we were using to come up with a preferred provider list in the U.S. and then we rolled it out in the U.K. (read the post)
The death of hourly billing could lead to happier lawyers
A look at the pros and cons of value billing models
Mike Evers, InsideCounsel
What are the ramifications of value billing for legal careers? I believe compensation, job satisfaction and performance metrics will all change significantly.
For attorneys at law firms, the change in performance metrics will be dramatic. Associate bonuses will no longer be tied to hours billed. Partner compensation will align with net profitability figures, not gross revenue totals. That’s significant, but it’s just math. The most dramatic impact will relate to job satisfaction. I spoke with an outside attorney from Pfizer’s Alliance network, and she describes the non-hourly orientation as life changing. (read the article)
To view InsideCounsel/Blickstein’s 4th Annual Law Department Operations Survey online, click here.
For more information on the full survey or to purchase the full results package, please contact Brad Blickstein at email@example.com.
IP: Open source software is licensed—it’s not “free”
Knowledge of applicable OSS licenses should be an important part of an organization’s intellectual property policy.
Eric Lobenfeld, InsideCounsel
Open source software (OSS) has become ubiquitous, but it is still not free.
There are examples of open source software on computing devices all around us. The Linux operating system runs business computers. Many people use Mozilla’s Firefox browser to access the Internet. Google’s Android operating system runs on smartphones and other computing devices.
Still time to join 800 other law departments for the final release (mid-January) of the GC Metrics benchmark survey
Rees Law Department Management
Release 4 goes out this week, bulging with key benchmark metrics from 740 law departments. That marks quite s a jump from 530 legal departments in October’s Release 3. Many more will take part in this epic benchmarking effort before it closes in January – and I hope you do too. There is no cost and only six pieces of data need to be entered on the secure online survey: your staffing numbers, internal and external legal spend, and revenue. (read the post)
A Portal to In-House Technology in 2012
Michael Roach, Law Technology News
Despite well-publicized data breaches in 2011, the majority of corporate counsel appear content with the level of data security at their firms. 49 percent report they are “reasonably certain” that procedures in place will protect against data leaks such as hacking, with an additional 27 percent responding that hacking their data is “difficult.” However, 11 percent are “worried” by hacking, followed by a nagging 8 percent unaware what actions are being taken to guard against it. (read the article)
(ILTA members can click here to download the survey)