jordanfurlong + metrics   120

Scoring your innovation (098) | Legal Evolution
The worksheet provides two types of insights. First, low scores on a Section I factor or in one of the other Sections help prioritize your efforts (or the decision to pull the plug). Second, you can use it as a point of comparison. For example, score the most successful innovation in your space. As students in my “How Innovation Diffuses in the Legal Industry” courses quickly realize, we are operating with many faulty assumptions. We find this out when we test them.

For those using the worksheet (click on thumbnail to the right), I’d welcome feedback. Please send to editor@legalevoltion.org.

I’m creating another worksheet for Organizational Innovativeness (Posts 015, 016, 017), but this is enough for now.
innovation  metrics 
july 2019 by JordanFurlong
What Replaces Timesheets? — Ignition Consulting Group
Timesheets, even if accurate (they’re not), provide only one uni-dimensional piece of information: who’s “busy.” Time tracking doesn’t reveal anything about what really matters in a professional firm, such as client satisfaction, work quality, or professional effectiveness.

Worse, the practice of time tracking provides incentives for all sorts of bad internal behaviors, from stretching the truth to discouraging innovation and collaboration.

Given the pervasiveness of time tracking in professional services, it’s understandable that even those managers who have become convinced that recording time is an ineffective way of measuring success feel at a loss when looking for a metric to replace it. Let me recommend 22 of them:
metrics  quality  value 
july 2019 by JordanFurlong
How Leading In-house Organizations Manage Quality S.M.A.R.T.ly | Legaltech News
But gathering impressions of quality from in-house counsel, though valuable, is likely to reflect a definition of quality that is much more academic. Quality will be centered around the extent to which outside counsel has demonstrated encyclopedic knowledge and technical artistry in their area of expertise. Trouble is—the client doesn’t care. They just want the thorn pulled out of their side and for you to disappear.

3. They investigate incidents of poor quality and take remedial measures

Another large organization I interviewed that collects quality impressions on thousands and thousands of legal matters every year makes a point to immediately investigate any matter that is closed with a low quality rating. When a low rating occurs, the quality team goes even further by reviewing the output and speaking directly to the rater to understand what really happened. The team does not wait until some arbitrary future time period to review reports of poor quality; they pounce on them immediately. In some instances, the team determines that the low rating was more of a reflection of the unrealistic expectations of the rater than the quality of the counsel’s work. In others, they may conclude that, while the matter went poorly, the root cause was not in the performance of counsel but poor internal business processes that stymied counsel’s ability to provide otherwise excellent work.
metrics  quality 
july 2019 by JordanFurlong
CC pilots dropping billable hours from performance reviews
Managing partner Matthew Layton (pictured) added: ‘With this pilot, we are trying to break the dominance of that single metric and allow our teams to think more broadly about where their time is best spent. This may mean investing in time spent developing and applying process improvements to matters, rather than straightforward matter delivery.’

The pilot will not, however, mean that CC’s Middle East lawyers will no longer be recording their time: they will have desktop dashboards showing how much of their time has been spent on different sets of activities, including financial information about the matters they are working on. The firm said this was done in order to ensure the evaluation of the pilot was based on comparable data.

Firstbrook concluded: ‘By running a pilot on this scale, with a large number of data points, associate input and partner and management feedback, we expect to be in a position to draw informed conclusions on the way ahead for the firm.’
metrics  productivity  compensation  innovation 
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
Marketing With Metrics: Proving Legal’s Value Is More Than Just Spend | Legaltech News
But even so, a focus on dollars and cents also can be a driver for change. “If we are being forced constantly to drive value and be more cost-efficient, then we should look at ourselves as a business,  Stewart said. “And perhaps there’s an argument that we should be driving revenue ourselves and contribute to the business. … And second, if you’re a business, you need to think about marketing and marketing strategy. You need to get yourself out there.”

Marketing With Metrics
Indeed, the need to market oneself came through as an underrated reason to engage in metrics. Ranganathan explained that the ACC focuses on a few main drivers of metrics:

Creating visibility;
Gauging performance of organization;
Identifying opportunities to drive improvement;
Supporting goals; and
Supporting narratives with data.
Ranganathan noted that the last is the most important. “You really are then able to make your case more effectively. That’s really marketing yourself.”

This means not only marketing within an organization but perhaps to law firm partners as well. Stewart noted that his department has used metrics to right-size the moderate risk profile they want firms to adopt. “We have to say to them, look as a bank, we have to take some risk, because without risk there’s no reward. But you also don’t want too much risk,” Stewart said.

For him, this means “that not every piece of advice needs to be gold-plated. You don’t need a Rolls-Royce or a Cadillac every time you’re asked for it.”
client  metrics 
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
Are Lawyers Ready to Be Managed by Metrics? | Legaltech News
But it likely wouldn’t stop there, the executive says. It is likely that, if such information existed, the company that owned it would serve as a marketplace for lawyers. It would match its knowledge of lawyers’ work and price history with clients’ desires.

“Take the Uber analysis and imagine ‘Lawber,’” the executive says. “That’s the way our clients will, in a few years from now, buy our legal services. They will say, ‘Here is my problem, and here are my levers: price, quality, safety.’ There is a mixture there that they can select, and then out comes a law firm or a legal team that is assigned the work.”

The executive suggests that consulting firms like the Big Four or billing technology providers are best positioned to serve this role in the market. The key is having a platform that has analyzed a vast enough swath of legal purchases and prices to set the market.
data  clients  firms  pricing  value  metrics 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
CLOC London – Getting To Grips With Data + Better Contracting – Artificial Lawyer
Artificial Lawyer attended the CLOC EMEA conference in London yesterday, and as well as meeting and chatting with an array of great legal innovation and legal ops folk, managed to attend a couple of sessions. The first was on data in the inhouse world, the other was on rationalising contract processes and legal automation.

The two sessions neatly summed up the wide range of experiences across the inhouse legal world, ranging from elementary needs such as collecting data on which law firms you are using, to creating massive clause banks and working with LPOs and a range of tech companies to drive document automation at a truly industrial scale.
ops  metrics  clients  change 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
What Would that Law Firm Merger Look Like? New Tool Allows 'What-If' Modeling | LawSites
Speculation about potential law firm mergers and acquisitions makes for good sport, not to mention serious business. Today, ALM Intelligence released a tool that gives speculators some hard-and-fast data and the ability to model what a potential merger would look like.

Available to subscribers to ALM Intelligence’s Legal Compass platform for data research and analysis, the M&A modeling tool allows users to analyze potential mergers and acquisitions within the legal market and create a profile of what the merged firm would look like.

“Law firms are always playing the ‘what-if’ game, and this tool enables firms and consultants to assess various potential combinations,” Patrick Fuller, vice president, legal, said in an announcement of the tool. “Additionally, it becomes a core competitive intelligence tool for rivals as part of the assessment of pending law firm mergers.”

The tool allows users to:
data  metrics  analytics  consulting  mergers 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
Law Firm Panels, Part II: Are Clients Demotivating Their Law Firms? | The American Lawyer
To us, the three management practices driving especially high panel return on investment are all about creating the right balance of enfranchisement and competition: law firm summits, competitive bids (done sparingly and well), and structured feedback. (To these we would add greater use of flat fees, as discussed in the first Thought Leaders finding, and retaining the types of firms that are especially high performing, as discussed in the second Thought Leaders finding.)

It’s admittedly simple, but few clients regularly engage in these practices. Note that the best outside counsel enjoy working with these clients the most: these lawyers are rewarded for strong performance with more legal work. And the return on investment to clients is impressive—as noted in each of the charts above, the benefits relate not only to quality but also to cost.

And this is something we’ve found at AdvanceLaw in general as we help our GCs find and retain counsel: partners receiving the best feedback on quality, expertise and responsiveness typically earn the best feedback on efficiency. Clients can, through the right practices, have their cake and eat it, too.
clients  firms  metrics 
july 2018 by JordanFurlong
My long history with law firm scorecards (047) | An essay on leadership
Leadership and management are not part of the legal education canon.  Yet, that is bound to change as more lawyers stumble forward into these disciplines to cope with the relentless growth in complexity we face on a daily basis. In the meantime, however, we are at risk for misinterpreting the tides of change.

For example, many lawyers and law firms (and initially this professor) are quick to conclude that the goal of scorecards is to save money.  Yet, in most cases, the motivation is scarcity of internal bandwidth. An important task done well and efficiently frees up time and mental energy to tackle other strategic priorities. Saving money, or getting more value per dollar spent, is a by-product of a more disciplined approach to one’s job as lawyer-manager.

The first step in this more disciplined approach is formulating the evaluation criteria.  Initially at Safelite and DHL, Mark Smolik focused on seven criteria:  (1) understands our objectives / expectations, (2) expertise, (3) responsiveness / communications, (4) efficiency / process management, (5) cost / budgeting skill, (6) results delivered / execution, and (7) compatibility with company values.  Each criteria, in turn, is defined by a set of specific behaviors.

What managing law firms looks like
For ideas like scorecards, lawyers need examples rather than abstract descriptions. In 2016, I ran some focus groups for what would later become Qualmet. Below are some of the graphics from those sessions (credit: Evan Parker from LawyerMetrix).
data  metrics  clients  firms  ratings 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
For Better Outside Counsel Relationships, Tell Firms How They're Being Measured | Corporate Counsel
Yeung and Cunningham discussed metrics that might be important to in-house counsel that might not be tracked by most firms, including diversity data or how efficiently different firms’ lawyers are completing work. By increasing communication between the two sides about metrics and expectations, both can better track the metrics that matter to the other, leading to better staffed matters and greater overall satisfaction.

“Sit down with [firm CIOs] and say, ‘Give me an idea of what it is that you’re doing.’ And have them show you these types of [dashboards] that we’re talking about today, and give them pressure to work with you in that sense,” Cunningham said. “Some firms will really enjoy that, and some firms are the ones swimming naked when the tide goes out.”
clients  data  metrics 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Empire Strikes Back 💥 and 2017 Is (Mostly) a 🎉 Win 🎉 for Am Law 100
In short, this view of the 2017 revenue growth takes some of the bloom off the top-line figures. At the same time, I think it’s generally consistent with ALM’s take — as Roy Strom summarized in his big picture narrative, there is some 😟 anxiety 😨 in the air.

For law firm leaders and equity partners picking up the annual rankings to check your PPEP ranking, don’t be lulled into a sense of complacency by the summary stats. As noted above, 5.5% revenue growth and 6.3% PPEP growth — on average — are undoubtedly great numbers. But if your own firm’s numbers were lackluster, know that it’s because one half of the Am Law 100 has grabbed the lion’s share.
data  metrics  firms  profitability 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
20 KPIs of a Successful Law Firm: How to Diagnose Why Your Law Firm Isn’t Doing as Well as You’d Like
Business owners, or I should say, successful business owners, know and track their key performance indicators (KPIs). At just a glance, successful business owners can see what’s working, what’s not working, and where to adjust.
kpi  metrics 
march 2018 by JordanFurlong
Measuring your firm’s success | Canadian Lawyer Mag
Stephen Mabey, director of Windsor, N.S.-based Applied Strategies, which does consulting for law firms, says KPIs have become more sophisticated in degree and level. Software can simplify the process and generate the reports. Although software isn’t necessary, a spreadsheet will do the trick.

“KPIs at their best should give you a sense of a doorway you need to go through,” he says. “In today’s world, where percentages can make a big difference both in retaining lawyers and attracting laterals, you really need to be on the top of your game. So the degree of sophistication has had to increase as markets have gone flat, as competition has increased.

“I don’t know any company, if you go outside the legal profession, that doesn’t have its benchmarks and its key performance indicators and they can tell you down to 1/100th on everything. Why do we, as a legal business, think we don’t need the same type of tools?”

But, he warns, the indicators must be key, and there can’t be too many. By keeping track of just five to 10 key areas, comparing them to previous months or years and also to other firms, members of the firm can easily spot upward or downward trends, giving them the opportunity to investigate further.

To get there, Mary Juetten, author of Small Law Firm KPIs: How to Measure Your Way to Greater Profits (published by Thomson Reuters, which also publishes Canadian Lawyer) and founder of Traklight.com, suggests approaching it as a framework and beginning with the pain points. She uses accounts receivable as an example.

“A lot of lawyers in Canada don’t collect the money up front,” she says. “What I tell lawyers if they’re experiencing a bit of a cash crunch, the first place to look is your accounts receivable.”
kpi  metrics  firms 
march 2018 by JordanFurlong
Forget AI, Fred Flintstone Has a Big BD Lesson for Law Firms — BTI Consulting Group
BTI research shows only 48% of law firms calculated any kind of client retention rate in 2017, up from 40% 3 years ago. The typical law firm calculating its top client retention rate kept 85% of their clients on a year-over-year basis, up from 80% 4 years ago. The increased retention alone can be worth $30 million dollars in new revenue at an Am Law 200 firm—and the same proportionate gain applies to smaller firms.

For my money, I would stop or postpone another project and calculate my firm’s client retention rate for the top 50 clients, at least. I would look at 3 factors:

Changes in billings, year over year
Rank in the top 50, year over year
3-year compound growth rate in billings
The numbers will tell the rest of the story. And define your path.
bizdev  metrics 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
Resetting the Process: An inside look at the state of legal operations | In-House Ops
necdotally, I would estimate that most corporations in this industry, 60 percent or so, are at the foundational level in terms of building out their operations function. About 35 percent are at an advanced level. They’ve done some really good things, but they’ve got much room to improve. Only about 5 percent are at what we would consider a mature level, and even those have some significant areas left for improvement.

Brenton: Prior to operations, we had been solutioning in silos, and we have evidence that that doesn’t work. It might look good on paper, but when you go to implement, it just doesn’t work.

On Embracing Technology

Franke: When we look at the CLOC operations maturity model, a lot of companies have implemented or started to implement the basics. But if you look at a competency like dashboards and data analytics, a competency found in somewhat more mature ops functions, we see that this is an area that’s still beyond the grasp of many companies. So, while a percentage of companies may be moving down the path to operational maturity a bit quicker and may be a bit further along, in some cases having adopted a lot of tools and AI, many other companies are still near ground zero. Even a technology like contracts management has only been implemented by maybe 50 percent of corporations, and most don’t have robust implementations with comprehensive processes to support their tool.

Brenton: I think the tech companies have been much more collaborative and willing to share because we’re not regulated and have a culture that is different in terms of sharing information about processes.



On Billing Methods – and Market Forces

Franke: It’s not so much about getting away from the billable hour as it is about what things should cost. When you hire a contractor to do work on your house, they fix their bid based on the different resources that they have to bring to the table – plumbers, electricians – and what that’s going to cost them. There’s an underlying hourly rate there, but they know how many hours it’s going to take to install a new faucet or sink. They don’t try to figure it out for every job.



Law firms, however, start from scratch every time they do an M&A deal or a tech transaction or an employment contract. Good contractors know how to do a remodel and when to use tools rather than manual labor, and they know how to staff a job.

That’s not been the case with law firms. We’re getting away from that – firms are gathering data, figuring out optimal staffing models, determining when to outsource, etc. That allows them to offer AFAs that are win-win.
firms  ops  clients  metrics  data  pricing  process 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
Judging Lawyers: Objectively Evaluating Big Law Litigation Departments
Despite being better than the rest, these firms’ briefs were still at a level that would be unacceptable in other writing-focused professions (such as journalism). The difference is that while general purpose writing has spell-checkers and grammar-checkers, analogous legal-focused technologies are missing.

Nearly every brief we analyzed contained misspelled case names, miscited pages, and misquoted cases and statutes. Interestingly, about one third of the misquotes appear to be intentionally inaccurate.

More shocking was that eight of the law firms in our analysis filed briefs that misspelled their judge’s name (including some in the drafting top five). As an individual with an unusual name in the United States, I’m used to people writing “Itia” or even “Atari.” But it’s a glaring and automatic negative, and it creates a terrible first impression.
quality  metrics  firms  drafting  litigation 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
Snapshot of the Legal Market, Missing Link, and Mystery Disconnect - Prism Legal
YET, Time Series Data Speak Otherwise. Since 2013, AW asked (page 21) CLOs to estimate the percent of spend by internal, law firm, and non-law firm vendor. As the graph below illustrates, spending on non-firm vendors, which includes alternative legal service providers, remains in the mid single digits with a shrinking share since 2014.
The Mystery. Many reports and commentators says ALSP is growing absolutely and taking share from law firms. Yet, the only time series data I have seen that asks about actual spending (not intent to spend) is what I graph below. So we have a mystery disconnect.
reports  metrics  competiton  innovation  clients  pricing 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market: Transformation of Legal Services Market is Accelerating — Are Law Firms Ready?
Flat demand for law firm services, declining profit margins, weakening collections, falling productivity, and loss of market share to alternative legal service providers and others, are gradually undermining the foundations of firm profitability.

The report also notes that many of the levers firms used to help counteract the last recession (expense cuts, de-equitizing partner ranks, rate increases, etc.) will likely be less effective during the next economic downturn.

“Sometimes, it’s all too easy to succumb to ‘the lure of failed strategies’ that may have worked in the past, to the detriment of taking bold, risky steps to deal with new challenges, such as changing client needs and expectations,” said James W. Jones, a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law and the report’s lead author. “Firms that take proactive steps to address these serious market realignments have every prospect of doing well. Meanwhile, traditional strategies and models are increasingly unlikely to lead to future market success.”
reports  metrics 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
What does the legal firm of the future look like?
What drives higher profits for law firms?

The Australian legal services industry is in transition. Across the market, firms tell us they are under pressure from cost-cutting clients, innovative competitors and disruptive technologies. Many have responded by rethinking the way they do business — introducing new systems, investing in technology and refining their client offering.

In these benchmarking results, we take a closer look at how firms of different sizes are remaking themselves, and discover what it takes to earn above average profits in today’s legal services market.


Let’s look at the numbers
Because smaller firms have greater scope to achieve high margins and rapid growth, we’ve used distinct performance benchmarks for large, mid-size and small firms, centred on each group’s average profit.
global  australia  metrics  future  profitability 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
New Study: GCs Have Brought The Majority Of Work In-House | Above the Law
The 2017 In-House Legal Benchmarking Report from Exterro polled a number of in-house legal personnel about their business and found that everyone’s bringing more and more under the company tent as we’ve suspected for some time. And they’re doing it for the most obvious reason of all:

When asked why they brought more work in-house, they most frequently responded that it was because they could (they had built or expanded internal capacity and now were using it), to save money, or because better software had become available.

Because I can! Perhaps this could be phrased better than invoking the go to excuse of a toddlercaught reaching into a cookie jar, but this is a serious reason that spells trouble for Biglaw. While lawyers worry about AI building robot lawyers to displace attorneys — a fear that’s mostly overblown — the real technological threat to Biglaw is in easing once formidable legal processes to the point that in-house departments present a more cost-effective option than outsourcing. Legal holds and other document preservation tasks can be handled cheaper and more cost-effectively than ever by clients with the right tools. With clients reporting that they’ll be investing in more software solutions going forward, this inward flow of work shows no signs of stopping.

Where does that leave the outside counsel landscape?

And we suspect the likely outside winners will fit into two broad categories: those who can deliver standardized services efficiently, effectively, and at a very low cost, or at least lower than can be achieved internally; and those who deliver custom and specialized services — bespoke services — that only the rare corporation is likely to invest in developing itself.
metrics  clients  it  robo  process  firms 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
How to Evaluate Law Firm Leaders (Perspective) | Big Law Business
By way of example, and to walk you through the process, the first step is identifying the leadership factors most important to the firm’s success.  For most firms, the most important factors for success include the following:  formulation of a coherent and compelling strategic plan; directing firm operations in an effective manner; careful management of the firm’s finances; appointing, training and retaining future leaders of the firm; communicating to all of the firm’s constituents clearly and consistently; maintaining positive relationships with the firm’s partners; and representing the face of the firm with its clients and the community at large. Identifying the factors for the firm is the first step.

The next step is applying a weight to each of the factors depending on the importance of each to the current position of the firm.  For example, the factors identified above could be weighted as follows:

— formulating of a coherent and compelling strategic plan … 20%

— directing firm operation in an effective manner … 10%

— careful management of the firm’s finances … 20%

— appointing, training and retaining future leaders … 15%

— communicating clearly to all of the firm’s constituents … 10%

— maintaining positive relationships with the firm’s partners … 10%

— representing the face of the firm with its clients and the community … 10%

 

As noted, the weighting will vary depending on the circumstances of the firm and may change from evaluation period to evaluation period depending on how those circumstances change.

The third prong is for each of the evaluators to grade based upon the agreed upon scale ¾ in the above example, 1 to 5.  An average for each of the criteria is then determined.  For example, the average for “formulation of a coherent and compelling strategic plan” could be 4, while the average for “directing firm operations in an effective manner” could be 2.  The following step is to take a weighted average of those averages, the result of which calculates to a final evaluation grade.  The results are then communicated to the leader.
leadership  metrics 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
What Do the AmLaw Numbers Really Show? | Adam Smith, Esq.
irst and foremost is that a bell curve’s “average” is a highly descriptive number; it defines the central tendency of the universe under inspection.  For power curves, no such thing holds true; averages aren’t just misleading, they can approach falsehood.  Consider a few characteristics of this year’s AmLaw 100: (a) 10% of the group’s total revenue is accounted for by the top three firms; and another 10% by the smallest two dozen; (b) 25% comes from the top nine firms and 25% from the bottom 50; and (c) the top three’s combined revenue was over $8-billion and the bottom 20’s under $7.5-billion.  In short, big firms really matter.  Their performance can easily move gross measurements for the entire group.
Given this, it’s worth looking at the 100’s nominal increase in revenue ($3.5-billion) from a few other perspectives:
How many of the 100 firms accounted for, say, two-thirds of that increase? The answer is about 20 firms; the other 80 didn’t grow enough in absolute dollars to make much difference, or else shrank outright.
18 firms reported their gross revenue decreased and 20 reported lower PPP; just as a matter of first-blush intuition, how does this square with what you assume when you hear +4.3% revenue growth and +3.0% PPP growth?
And, to exemplify how a small firm can have eye-popping percentage growth without moving the gross number needle much, while a big firm lumbering along with the pack can have the same overall impact but no one notices, consider:
Husch Blackwell was the #1 firm out of the entire 100 in revenue growth rate at +23.2% (they merged), adding $81-million to their year-before total.
Skadden was actually below the “average” growth rate at 3.5%, but tacked on $85-million, or a rounding-error’s difference with Husch.
FIRMS  metrics  profitability 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
How Firms Should Be Measuring the Profitability of Matters | The American Lawyer
How MPH Works
Consider two idealized matters. Matter A is a year-long counseling arrangement. It's relatively low leverage—1.5 associate hours per partner hour, but the client pays full billing rates. Matter B is a litigation matter that settles before going to trial. It's relatively high leverage—4.1 associate hours per partner hour, but the client is getting a 15 percent discount so realization is only 85 percent. Table 1 below shows the calculations of the matters' MPH. Gross revenues are determined simply as hours multiplied by billing rate, (the examples use the same average partner and associate hourly billing rates of $1,000 and $650, respectively). For ease of comparison, gross revenues are $1M for both matters. The matters' realization is applied to gross revenues to determine net revenues from which associate cost—approximated as one quarter of the associate billing rate (discussed more later)—is subtracted to determine margin. Margin is then divided by partner hours to provide MPH.

Hugh Simons
The final line of the calculation presents the matter's MPH as a percent of firm target, typically the MPH level implicit in the firm's financial plan, (every annual plan has such a metric in it ). There are a number of reasons to look at MPH in this way. One is that, because the MPH metric is new, partners don't have a feel for what constitutes a "good" level of MPH in the way that they do for, say, an individual's billed hours; comparison to a target level makes it easy to assess. Another is that comparing a matter's MPH with a target brings into the assessment of profitability how well the matter is contributing to covering the firm's fixed costs and to meeting the firm's profit expectation. Finally, as billing rates increase year by year, the level that constitutes a good MPH also rises; looking at MPH as a percent of firm target allows the assessment of what constitutes a strong MPH to rise naturally over time.
The calculations show that the high-leverage, low-realization Matter B has the higher MPH—111 vs. 80 percent of firm target. That is to say, each partner hour on Matter B is contributing significantly more to coverage of the firm's fixed costs and generation of its partner profit pool.
profitability  metrics  data  firms  partners 
august 2017 by JordanFurlong
This GC Thinks He Can Quantify the Long-Subjective Art of Service Provider Value | Legaltech News
James Beckett, CEO of Qualmet, told Legaltech News that the platform compares value-based on inputs from law department team members. Individual members of the legal team first conduct evaluations of a legal matter, including associated lawyers and firms, using quick forms intended to take about one minute to complete. From there, the platform assesses performance quantitatively, with results coming in six categories:
Understanding  of the client’s business;
Results;
Service;
Appropriateness of effort;
Resource management; and
Overall satisfaction.
The results can then help with quantitative comparisons between firms, with legal spend added into the equation for context. Beckett said law departments can also customize the formula with their own metrics as they see fit, though some elements of the formula will remain consistent among all deployments.
value  client  kpi  metrics  data 
may 2017 by JordanFurlong
Corporate Legal's Metrics Mandate: Create Your Own KPIs, or Others Will | Legaltech News
"You are being measured, whether you know it or not," explained Craig. "So why don't you put your hands on the rudders? Why not take the initiative and steer how you're going to get measured, and actually have influence over that, instead of just waiting for the business to decide how you get measured? Help educate them and be educated about the business needs, then you can control or influence how you are being measured."
Creation Station: Putting Together KPIs
Creating KPIs in a legal department pivots largely on how the department implements information governance procedures, such as properly classifying data. But implementing these procedures, Craig noted, is not a quick or automated task.
ops  metrics  kpi  clients 
april 2017 by JordanFurlong
When it Comes to Law Firm Clients, Metrics Matter More Than You Think | Legaltech News
“Cash is king, and when I talk to any lawyer, when I ask them about their collections, most can’t answer how long it takes [them] to collect [their] accounts receivable,” she said. “Most lawyers aren’t tracking that. It’s an important [metric].”
But why are metrics on clients important in the first place? Because “most clients are asking for more for less,” Juetten said, likening the experience to the same way consumers use resources like the internet to find the best bang for their buck.
metrics  collections 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Before you can kill the billable hour, you first need to get rid of utilisation | RWS_01's B[D]log
A lot has been written about a need to kill the billable hour. Some of it has merit. Lots of it doesn’t. Some of it has been written with the client’s benefit in mind, most of it hasn’t – in the it is written with law firm survival in mind.

Crucially, pretty much all of it is irrelevant.

How can I be allowed to say such a thing?

Because the reality is that under most law firm’s current performance regimes, we actively encourage the survival of the billable hour, even while we advocate for its death.

What do I mean by this?

Well, as I alluded to in my post last week, what consistently surprises me is that while many advocate for the death of the billable hour, with few exceptions most of these advocates fail to look at one of the principal underlying issues that makes its death – overnight or otherwise – near impossible:- utilisation.

‘Utilisation‘ refers to the metric by which we determine how busy fee earners are. In most firms (although not all), to ascertain ‘utilisation’ we look at the annual budget of hours the firm has set the relevant fee earner (typically starting at 1,400 hours and going north) and we measure that against the amount of billable time they have put on their time-sheets (daily, weekly, monthly or annually). From this, we then decide how “busy” that fee earner has been.

But, it’s actually a crock of shit as a metric of measurement.
utilization  pricing  firms  metrics 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Clio’s First Trends Report Paints Alarming Picture of Solo and Small Law Practice - Attorney at Work - Attorney at Work
The Bad
Over the past five-plus years, billing rates have risen 10.5 percent; but, that’s not even enough to keep up with inflation, as the consumer price index has risen 10.6 percent over that same time period.

The report indicates that most Clio users still bill hourly, whereas value billing can be essentially uncapped (in terms of time restraints), as the report explores in detail.

In terms of utilization rate, solo practice is the least desirable firm structure. Efficiencies begin to increase in Clio firms of two to four lawyers, before plateauing, and then taking off again at the 10th lawyer+. While solo lawyers’ utilization rate is 22 percent, law firms with 12 lawyers reach 50 percent.

The Ugly
“The average small-to-midsize firm only collects 1.5 hours of paid work time for each workday.” You read that right — that’s the mic drop. Put another way, the Legal Trends Report indicates that, for the average solo or small firm lawyer to get paid for eight hours, she has to put in more than a full workweek. If that same lawyer works 48 weeks of the year (minus vacation), she gets paid for eight hours of work for the equivalent of 45 days.
solos  metrics 
december 2016 by JordanFurlong
Nextlaw Labs expands portfolio with legal services quality assessment provider QualMet | Nextlaw Labs
Nextlaw Labs, the collaborative innovation platform launched by global law firm Dentons, today announced its investment in QualMet, an early-stage startup that brings quality assessment metrics to in-house counsel and law firms. The investment marks the seventh company to enter Nextlaw Labs’ portfolio.

QualMet provides a streamlined cloud platform and standardized process for in-house counsel and law firms to benchmark the quality of legal services across industry sectors, firms and legal practice areas. The company focuses on key performance metrics that are critical to delivering value.

“QualMet sets the bar by which we evaluate legal services and improves collaboration between in-house and external legal counsel,” said Dan Jansen, chief executive of Nextlaw Labs. “We see this as an exciting opportunity to bring major law firms like Dentons and their clients into an important dialogue about improving and defining the quality of legal services.”

The underlying concept for QualMet was created by Mark Smolik, general counsel with DHL Supply Chain, who has been using a prototype of the evaluation platform for the past eight years. “Legal departments tend to focus on managing and reducing costs, and much less attention is placed on the quality of legal services. It became clear to me early on that the legal industry was in need of a paradigm shift.” said Mark. “Quality, and collaborative conversations about it, are two of the key missing ingredients in optimal value creation for both in-house and outside counsel.”

QualMet allows in-house counsel to easily assess the quality and business value of their legal service providers, share results to align expectations and goals, use industry benchmarks to identify opportunities for improvement, and find the best-in-class law firms based on evaluations by their peers. On the other side of the equation, QualMet allows law firms to learn how clients perceive their contributions, benchmark their performance vis-à-vis other law firms and develop a strategy to improve and maximize business opportunities.
quality  metrics  innovation  data  analytics 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
New Legal Trends Report provides data insights for small- to medium-sized law firms – Slaw
For the first time ever, small to medium-sized law firms have access to information that can help them make decisions like some of the world’s best businesses. Traditionally, solo-, small-, and medium-size law firm data has relied heavily on self-reported or anecdotal data, which is often heavily skewed due to both small sample sizes and the inherent unreliability of self-reported data. When contrasted with actual usage data, an entirely different picture of the legal landscape emerges, including surprising insights such as:
On average, attorneys are only expending 28 percent — roughly two hours — of each eight hour workday on billable activities.
Law firm utilization rates increase as additional attorneys are added, but plateau at five to nine attorneys.
When adjusted for cost of living, Nevada, Connecticut and Illinois emerge as the most profitable states for attorneys based on real hourly rates; conversely, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin are the lowest hourly rate states in real terms.
metrics  data  solos 
october 2016 by JordanFurlong
Emerging Legal Technology Forum: The Role of Mindset
Katz’s wide-ranging keynote touched on themes such as economics of law; the industrialization of what had been an artisanal trade; and the role of data and analytics in re-making the economic structure of the industry. In his introduction, however, he touched on another underlying theme that drove nearly every conversation during the course of the Forum. What legal technology and innovation is all about, he said, is building a better legal supply chain with better measurement of value in the elements of the chain.
supplychain  it  firms  data  analytics  metrics 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Buying Into Business Intelligence: Inside Analytics for Firms and Legal Departments | Legaltech News
Owen Byrd, general counsel and chief evangelist at Lex Machina, a legal analytics company purchased by LexisNexis last year, has seen the evolution as law firms and their corporate clients increasingly ground their conversations in statistics. "Historically, the dance between law firms and potential clients has been a pretty subjective one. It has not been grounded in a lot of data and analytics. But that's changing."
Collecting and possessing the data is one thing. Applying the data to drive true efficiencies is another, and it's a step many law firms and corporate legal departments struggle to take.
Not Your Normal Corporate Practice
The definition of what business intelligence (BI) actually is depends on who you're talking to. Some call it the transformation of raw data into meaningful information for business purposes, which sounds a lot like data science. Others say it goes beyond data science, integrating new technologies into the analysis process.
In his own definition, Byrd breaks down BI for corporate legal departments into two key categories: the business of law and the practice of law. The former is the process by which these departments can gain a better return on investment, often through targeted hiring of outside counsel or strategic placement of people and time within the department itself. The latter is how the data can influence how a lawyer practices, such as data that explains a judge's dismissal tendencies or the likelihood of defendant success in different jurisdictions.
To explain BI in context, he provided a practical example. Suppose you're a growing West Coast technology company, and you're sued for patent infringement for the first time in Chicago. There is always the option of using a firm you're already comfortable with that has a Chicago office. The numbers, though, say it takes a long time to get to trial in Chicago, and a higher price-per-hour large firm may not be preferable. "Are they still going to use their go-to firm?" Byrd asks. "Probably. But they are going to look at the data, and if there's a hot-shot boutique in that district… maybe they can look at the list and call them up. That's business intelligence."
intel  business  metrics  data  analytics 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong
Only 30% of people with legal issues seek formal advice, biggest-ever survey finds - Legal Futures
Only three in ten people who have a legal issue seek advice, and of them just over half go to a lawyer, the biggest ever survey of individuals’ legal needs has found.
access  metrics 
may 2016 by JordanFurlong
Lost in Translation: BigLaw’s Communication (and Trust) Issues — Rethink the Practice — Medium
So, what gives? The foreword by David Cambria, the Global Director of Operations for Law, Compliance and Government Relations at Archer Daniels Midland, gives some insight into why new methods of measuring and pricing legal services may be eluding law departments as well as law firms: “We decide it’s too hard to figure out, it’s too risky, it isn’t the right matter or we’re not clear on what qualifies as a win.”
This rare display of candor may unsettle some, but I think candor is exactly what we need in our industry to drive meaningful progress toward measurements of value rather than inputs and costs.
The truth is that no single player in the legal supply chain has the wherewithal to flip a switch to undo decades of ingrained reliance on the billable hour. Creating the necessary clarity around what qualifies as a win is a shared responsibility across buyer and seller, one that requires commitment, perseverance, and the willingness to experiment.
metrics  clients  trust  firms  innovation  pricing  value 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
Building a better culture in law firms | Paul Roberts | LinkedIn
Sending links to helpful articles, sharing your colleagues work via social media, emailing with help on cases, recommending courses and books, inviting people to networking events, having 1:1 discussions, mentoring sessions, business idea sessions... All this is tracked by the individual and management and confirmed by those you've helped.
culture  firms  metrics  compensation 
february 2016 by JordanFurlong
Law firm metrics ‘not much use to clients’
“What's interesting is that all these measures are employed by law firms in what amounts to preening contests among themselves to determine which is the ‘best’ firm, but they're not much use to clients,” Mr Furlong told Lawyers Weekly.

Profit per partner is the most prominent metric used to compare firms in Australia and the US, but is not used in Canada, where Mr Furlong is based.

Law firms typically submit profit per partner figures to independent bodies or media outlets that collate and publish the information on a yearly basis.
metrics  jf 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal How and Why Law Firms Can + Should Do Less Law (#DoLessLaw) - Prism Legal
CEB puts the onus on GCs to cause firms to do less law. They found that in-house lawyers must “set clear work quality expectations, align legal risk tolerance, [and] specify matter execution priorities”. While matters are active, GCs must make clear the company’s clear risk preferences and provide “tools and decision rules to make correct matter trade-offs”.

Of equal note, CEB finds that many popular GC programs do not address law firms doing to much law: success fees or AFA, panels, using Global 200 firms, or preferred firms.

To address law firm over-investment, GCs have to manage better. Only 13% “help outside counsel make necessary trade-offs” and only 29% evaluate firms on “the quality of their decision making, judgment and tradeoffs”. That leaves much room to improve.
clients  metrics  process  value 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Legal Metrics: Defining Success Beyond Spend Management | Eyal Iffergan | LinkedIn
While there is a focus and appreciation for the critical importance of legal metrics, we find that law departments continue to face impediments to effectively collecting, analyzing and presenting data (see Fig. 3).  Law departments struggle with the requisite skills, data and tools needed for reporting.  The top challenge to achieving effective reporting was the lack of well-defined metrics; together with the lack of training or skill sets, that speaks to the challenge departments are facing in understanding operational performance reporting. To address these knowledge gaps, law departments are approaching their functional colleagues for ways to develop useful metrics and KPIs. Law departments are now commonly staffing business analysts, who bring the combination of internal consulting skills with legal practice expertise. 
metrics  clients  data 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
The Size of the US Legal Market: an LEI Graphic
n a new graphic, titled “How Big is the US Legal Services Market?” created by Legal Executive Institute, the size of the US legal market is estimated to be about $437 billion currently. This number includes the revenue generated at law firms, legal process outsourcing firms (LPOs) and the budgets allocated to corporate legal departments.
metrics  data  clients 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Law school nonprofit buys Bill Henderson's Lawyer Metrics company
The Access Group announced the acquisition in a press release (PDF). Lawyer Metrics was co-founded by Indiana University law professor William Henderson and Pennsylvania State University statistics professor Christopher Zorn, and both will stay with the company after the sale to the Access Group.
schools  metrics  access 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Metrics can tell the tale of a firm's fate
All of these tools, and quite a few more, can be easily applied with readily available information. At a minimum, they should be used by management/leadership to generate a more detailed awareness of how the firm is performing at present, and especially over time. They should definitely be shared with the executive committee so that healthy discussion can be had about actions to take when unacceptable results or trends are made evident and there is still time to make corrections.

If the firm really is a partnership, all partners should have this information as well.

To what extent the exercise of politics and power in a law firm would restrict or deny this simple information to partners is not for this article to address, other than to suggest to a partner that if you don’t get it without putting yourself at risk of disapproval or discipline, can you really afford to stay?
firms  finances  profitability  metrics 
january 2016 by JordanFurlong
Can Legal Ops Overcome the Persistence of the Billable Hour? | Big Law Business
This observation goes to the crux of the industry’s problem.  To arrive at a clear articulation of what qualifies as a win, each company must develop clarity about its business objectives as well as the cross-functional collaboration to translate those business objectives into law department targets.

Quantifying such targets into functional metrics on legal outcomes is a challenge that must be addressed on a per-organization basis. Because there is no easy one-size-fits-all solution for measurement, it means that the industry as a whole will mature more slowly than disruption rhetoric would have us believe.

As a general proposition, we are not an industry prepared to take a leap into the unknown. As we develop the data models to support better analysis, however, the movement away from traditional pricing models will become considerably less risky. Over time, the pace of adoption will quicken.  In the meantime, we wait for both law firms and law departments to reach the tipping point.

On the bright side, the survey indicates that legal ops professionals are hard at work building foundational capabilities in data analytics and data mining.  More than half of the respondents reported having a formalized metrics program (up from 34.4 percent in the prior year).  Of even more interest, the survey reported on a number of companies (specifically noted were Ford Motor and Lincoln Financial) beginning to develop metrics around law firm performance in delivering case outcomes and utilizing data modeling to measure the performance of the legal supply chain. As these models mature and as law departments become increasingly sophisticated in the use of emerging technologies, the ability of the legal operations function to effectively measure and evaluate change will only improve.
ops  metrics  value  clients  pricing 
december 2015 by JordanFurlong
Legal Analytics, Data-Centric Lawyering and Early Case Strategy
I believe data-centric lawyering represents the biggest change in law since research moved from books to computers. I like to call this shift to a data-based approach “Moneyball for lawyers,” a reference to Michael Lewis’s popular book (and the movie) of the same name. In my view, analytics is changing law just as dramatically as rigorous statistical analysis has changed the way baseball teams evaluate and field talent.
data  analytics  litigation  innovation  metrics 
december 2015 by JordanFurlong
More In-House Law Departments Have Formal Metrics: LDO Survey | Legaltech News
Legal departments are running more like a business, and the latest figures prove it.
Over half of law departments have a formal metrics or reporting program in place—a nearly 20 percent increase over last year. In fact, more than 56 percent of law departments have a formal metrics/reporting program in place, up from 34 percent in 2014, according to the results of the Blickstein Group’s Eighth Annual Law Department Operations Survey.
The survey, which is published in cooperation with Huron Legal, reveals findings
related to law department operations (LDO) professionals’ responsibilities, cybersecurity and technology, budgeting, electronic discovery, reporting and metrics, relationships with outside counsel and alternative legal delivery methods.
For one-third of the LDO survey’s 107 respondents, tracking metrics are increasing the stakes—at least in terms of salary. When asked if there are compensation ramifications based on law department metrics, nearly 30 percent of respondents said yes, up from 23 percent in 2014.
clients  metrics 
november 2015 by JordanFurlong
What Australia’s Top GC’s Are Focused On (In Three Charts) | Plexus
Legal functions are largely missing the mark in client satisfaction.
clients  metrics 
november 2015 by JordanFurlong
AIG Announces It's Creating a Legal Ops Consultancy | Corporate Counsel
Katzel announced earlier this week that American International Group Inc. plans to start the new consulting company in January using AIG’s massive internal data on legal service prices along with information and expertise from its 80 legal operations specialists around the globe. Neither Katzel nor AIG could immediately be reached for comment.
But it puts a whole new twist on in-house legal departments finding ways to become profit centers.
Currently AIG’s legal operations center, under Katzel, supports the company’s legal, compliance and insurance claims functions worldwide. According to its website, it uses statistical analysis and cutting-edge technology to identify areas to cut costs while improving legal strategies.
competition  clients  data  analytics  insurance  metrics 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Latest research | Legal Services Board Research Section
In 2013, we undertook the first large scale quantitative survey of the legal needs of small business owner and managers (Pleasance and Balmer, 2013).  This research repeats that survey and presents new empirical evidence on small businesses’ experiences of legal problems.

What new information did this research provide?

This new research analyses the experiences of small businesses in today’s economy, showing the origin of legal problems that they face and their strategies for dealing with these problems, including where they seek advice and their experiences of doing so.  It is the largest ever survey of small businesses’ interactions with the legal sector (an online survey of 10,528 respondents).

The report includes a cross-sectional analysis of the 2015 survey as well as a comparison of the 2015 results with the 2013 benchmarking survey.  Over 1,400 individuals who were interviewed in 2013 were also interviewed in 2015, allowing a panel analysis to be undertaken.

The findings show that:

Business problems have declined in incidence but remain costly

The number of legal problems faced by small businesses reduced significantly over the last two years reflecting better trading conditions. The most common problems related to trading, employment and taxation. Other businesses were the main source of problems.
Half of small businesses reporting a legal issue said it had a negative impact; one-quarter of them reported loss of income and one-fifth reported health related problems. Total annual losses to small businesses due to legal problems is estimated at £9.79bn
Larger small businesses, and small businesses with BME and disabled business owners-managers, were most likely to experience problems
Engagement with legal service providers is limited
metrics  access  competition 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Comment: K&L Gates' Tony Griffiths on profit, delusion and how Big Law became obsessed with the wrong things | www.legalbusiness.co.uk
In today's Big Law environment with its obsession with PEP, RPL, productivity enhancement and metric-based comparison, this sort of language comes close to heresy. However, if you strip away the startling rhetoric, the message is not so controversial. It simply means that a business's long-term viability depends upon constant reinvention through investment in innovative and differentiated client offerings. What is startling when you think about it, is how far Big Law has moved away from what I would argue is this basic truth in its focus on short-term consumption, particularly for and by its partners.
profitability  metrics  firms  leadership  management 
october 2015 by JordanFurlong
Ground-breaking ‘win rate’ research reveals top-performing litigators
The study also found there was no correlation between success rates and receiving further instructions.
metrics 
august 2015 by JordanFurlong
Drinker Biddle Names Borden Chief Data Scientist | Legaltech News
AmLaw 100 law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath has named Bennett Borden the firm’s first chief data scientist (CDS). In this role, Borden will oversee the implementation of technologies and services that apply use of data analytics and other cutting edge tools to the practice of law. The move positions Drinker Biddle as one of the first firms—possibly in the world—to carve out a leadership position overseeing data analytics, with the impetus for the new role coming from the firm’s longstanding views on the importance of governing information.
data  metrics  innovation 
may 2015 by JordanFurlong
Ronit Dinovitzer
The {LAB} study is the first national study of Canadian law graduates, and provides an in depth look at early careers through a study of Canadian lawyers admitted to the bar in 2010. This project is funded by funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
schools  admission  metrics 
may 2015 by JordanFurlong
Getting to New Law: Standardized Quality Metrics
I was at a gathering a while back that happened to include the General Counsel of a Fortune 100 company.  I asked him if he measured ROI on his legal spend.  “No,” he said, “I can’t.”  Why not?  “I can’t measure quality.”
quality  metrics 
may 2015 by JordanFurlong
UPL, Technology, and Access to Justice - Radical Concepts
A lot of the discussion around UPL and technology seems to boil down to the assumption that software produces lower quality work product than lawyers do. Depending on the audience, it seems to be outright offensive to even raise the issue. But before we can rationally object to the putative lower quality of technology, we need to ask the question about the quality of lawyer-produced work product. Lawyers and law firms often argue that they produce the highest quality work, as compared with other lawyers. That is, by our own account, we don’t think that all lawyers produce the same quality work. If some work is better, some must be worse. When we object to the quality of technology, with which lawyer are we comparing? The threshold for quality for lawyers is malpractice, based mainly on standards for competence and negligence.  As anyone who has studied criminal procedure knows, merely poor work is insufficient for a criminal defendant to receive a new trial. The point is that there is a range of allowable quality of legal work performed by licensed attorneys. Why should technology have to perform better than the worst allowable lawyer?
quality  metrics  robolawyer  it  upl  access 
may 2015 by JordanFurlong
Metrics Strengthen Inside and Outside Counsel Relationships | Business of Law Blog
The legal community has some of “the worst papered relationships in the known universe,” according D. Casey Flaherty, a former litigator and in-house counsel with Kia Motors America.
The disconnect, he says, is in documentation. The inside/outside counsel relationship is often awash in conflicting, outdated forms – the inside counsel billing guidelines, the outside counsel engagement letter – that either side rarely reads.
metrics  clients 
april 2015 by JordanFurlong
Litigation, Baseball and Big Data
Are trial statistics reliable tools to base selection of counsel or, more broadly, to gauge how effective a lawyer or firm is? The short answer is “no”; such data, at best, provides one piece of the puzzle. Baseball again provides guidance for the development of more meaningful metrics. For example, won-lost percentage was once deemed the most significant measure of a pitcher’s ability (as the CIO/inventor contends it is in evaluating a trial lawyer). But earned run average, the number of earned runs a pitcher allows on average over nine innings, has emerged as a far more significant measure of performance than winning percentage. The pitcher who lost a 1-0 “mound duel” performed better than the winning pitcher in an 11-9 slugfest. Same with trial work. “Winning” a case is, of course, meaningful, but it does not tell the whole story. David Boies “lost” Bush v. Gore, but does that mean that he did not perform at the highest level and is not a superior lawyer even though tagged with a loss? The old maxim, “tough cases make great lawyers” speaks to the “degree of difficulty” that is an integral component of trial work. There are so many factors that go into evaluation of trial performance that “won-lost” percentages are virtually meaningless. One caveat: it is important to know how many cases a lawyer has tried, because it is a good indicator of experience and client confidence. Unfortunately, the degree of sophistication achieved by baseball statisticians is not presently matched by most litigation metrics. Put another way, there are many important case and trial variables that “don’t show up in the box score” and for which no metric presently exists.
metrics 
march 2015 by JordanFurlong
Dewey B Strategic: Lex Machina Adds PTAB Data and New ACC Article Provides "in House" View of Lex Machina and Legal Analytics
I have focused on Lex Machina as a powerful data engine for law firm business development and a kind of crystal ball providing predictive insights which can be applied to case assessment and litigation strategy. The March issue of the  Association of Corporate Counsel Docket is featuring an article which provides in the "In-house" perspective on legal analytics from Lex Machina and other sources. The  article co-authored by Kevin Kramer, Yahoo's VP and Deputy General Counsel for intellectual property and Owen Byrd. Lex Machina's Chief Evangelist and General Counsel. The Article " Legal Analytics Transform Law Department Patent Activity" describes the variety of ways that in house counsel are using data to select and manage outside counsel, make internal business decisions when faced with a lawsuit and determine their own tactical and strategic approaches to case assessment for patent litigation. The article provides  interesting insights into how Yahoo is using data to assess their response to patent troll litigation, select outside counsel and conduct case assessment and litigation strategy. There were also some applications I couldn't have imagined. Yahoo  reports using workforce data and geographic location of their engineers to anticipate the volume of "invention discolsures" which will be submitted to the GC. My favorite insight in the article is the power of legal analytics to empower lawyers by  moving them away from making decisions using subjective "anec-data" to leveraging resources which deliver actionable, objective data.
metrics  data  km  clients 
february 2015 by JordanFurlong
New technology helps resolve disputes over legal billing - The Globe and Mail
Rocket Matter’s software allows law firms to manage every aspect of their practice, including billing. It helps lawyers be more efficient and create accurate invoices on their phones, tablets or computers. There is a timer that a lawyer can click when he or she begins work and clicks off when finished. Lawyers can use the technology anywhere, says Michael Miceli, director of marketing at Rocket Matter. Whether you are at the courthouse or at a coffee shop, “as long as you have a web connection, you can use Rocket Matter; you can also work offline and it will sync back up when the connection resumes so there is no place where it is 100-per-cent off limits.”
process  pricing  metrics 
february 2015 by JordanFurlong
The Legal Whiteboard
In a competitive market, the threshold question, asked by potential entrants and those who might finance them, is often the same: "what is the size of the available (or addressible) market?" Because lawyers and law schools are feeling unprecedented economic pressure, I thought it would be worthwhile to run this exercise for the U.S. legal industry and break it down by type of client.
metrics  marketsize 
january 2015 by JordanFurlong
Predicting Legal Costs on Fertile Ground | Law Technology News
With models for predicting costs for specific types of matters, law departments can develop more accurate budgets and can better manage matters when costs significantly drift from predictions. Similarly, outside counsel can use analytics to create matter budgets, to manage how they staff matters, and to ensure that rates are competitive. Both parties can use analytics to develop workable alternative fee arrangements.
clients  metrics  pricing  management 
december 2014 by JordanFurlong
Law Firm Billing Gets Smart With Tech | Law Technology News
For law firms to get smart about bidding on work they need a legal management infrastructure with deep knowledge and understanding of their matters, staffing resources, billing rates and spending data. This knowledge infrastructure, or business intelligence, goes beyond a stand-alone matter management application to include historical and real-time information on billing rates, invoices and costs, and incorporates a facility to calculate alternative fee arrangements and use third-party data to compare law firm metrics to the larger legal industry.
metrics  pricing 
december 2014 by JordanFurlong
Modern Metrics for the Entrepreneurial Lawyer | Clio
If you’re a solo or small firm lawyer (and there’s a 70% chance you are), let’s face it—you’re not only a lawyer, you’re also an entrepreneur; responsible for the day-to-day management, marketing, and financial health of a business. You’ve assumed the ‘greater than normal’ financial risk of simply going to law school (to the tune, on average, of a $125,000 debt load) and graduating into a market where your employment is anything but guaranteed.
metrics  solo 
october 2014 by JordanFurlong
The Spend and The Spread: Two Useful Tools for Building a Strong, Self-Aware Foundation — Eric S. Meltzer
Well, let’s make some nails. Using data is a fundamentally creative process -- there’s no wrong way to harness it, just more or less useful ways in context -- and so I propose we embrace the inchoate mass of data and create workable data sets through improvisational combinations of audit skills, detective work, serendipity, and guessing. In this way, we can build a foundation from which we track and improve the way we solve and prevent client problems.
metrics  data  clients 
october 2014 by JordanFurlong
PPP, PPM, %,° and Feet | LegalRefresh
Kevin and I read with great interest the above report that Denton’s has decided to take a stand and will no longer report its average profits per equity partner (PPP), stating that the number is meaningless and has the potential to damage client relations.  Not surprisingly, American Lawyer editor-in-chief Kim Kleman stated that PPP is an important metric they will continue to track.
metrics  firms 
june 2014 by JordanFurlong
Moneyball 2.0: The New, Team-Oriented Study of Baseball - Hayden Higgins - The Atlantic
As these team-level strategies are implemented and gain notoriety, some portion of the fan base will start to identify with general managers rather than players, and not just because of Brad Pitt’s winsome 2011 performance as Billy Beane. (This article doesn’t cover the smart work being done more on the financial and scouting sides of baseball. But those, too, center on the GM, and they’re catching on quickly.) The prevalence of fantasy sports, for example, is evidence that today’s fan is used to viewing the game from a managerial, even business, angle. The public availability of vast reams of data via sites like Brooks Baseball, combined with open online platforms of fan-created content (like Fansided), enable fans to imagine themselves making the decisions that managers and general managers make. Next year’s fan will lament, “I would never have signed him!”
metrics  productivity  management 
may 2014 by JordanFurlong
LEGAL FUTURES Fewer than one in ten people with legal problems see a lawyer
he report for the Legal Services Board (LSB) described the courts as “peripheral to much everyday justice”, with only one in 20 disputes resolved by courts, tribunals or other third-party procedures.

However, the report concluded that there was no “broad crisis of access to justice”, with those who really need advice generally seeking it. Sometimes inaction was “entirely rational”, although “a significant minority of cases of inaction are characterised by helplessness and powerlessness”.

Professor Pascoe Pleasence and Dr Nigel Balmer from University College London studied over 3,800 legal problems, using data from the English and Welsh civil and social justice panel survey.

They said their findings were similar to those they reported last year from an equally detailed study of small businesses, which found similarly huge levels of unmet legal need.

Problems categorised by consumers as ‘legal’ were far more likely to result in a trip to a lawyer. The nature of the problem and the cost were the other two main factors. Younger consumers (aged 16 to 24) were the most likely to do nothing.

Where consumers identified their problem as ‘legal’, there was a “dramatic increase” in visits to a law firm, as opposed to seeking informal advice, going to an advice centre or doing nothing.
access  metrics 
may 2014 by JordanFurlong
Your Monthly Law Firm Efficiency Metrics: Post 3 | Stacey E. Burke
Staff audit reports give a law firm a clearer picture of office workflow and productivity.  After running staff audit reports, use the data to determine:
metrics  talent  management  staff 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
Your Monthly Law Firm Efficiency Metrics Guide: Post 2 | Stacey E. Burke
Databases are only as useful as the information in them.  Every month, law firms should run the following audit reports in order to confirm the accuracy of their database information.
metrics  management  data 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
Your Monthly Law Firm Efficiency Metrics Guide: Post 1 | Stacey E. Burke
Create a report that tracks your firm’s marketing goals.  This report should be an amalgamation of several different smaller reports.
metrics  marketing 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
The Changing Definition of Value: What Matters Most to In-House Counsel
Firms that get it right will earn more business. McDonough confirms that “if a lawyer in a firm has wonderfully served us, we’ll follow that lawyer. Yet, if that lawyer’s colleagues also served us well, and we appreciated the firm on other levels—such as a real service mind-set, a real understanding of higher education, quality and consistency, pleasant people, etc.—we will try to also keep his or her former colleagues, and maybe even the firm in general, specifically in mind as opportunities develop.” McClure-Demers says Nationwide is eager to recognize outside counsel for outstanding efforts. As she indicates, “One of our outside counsel took the initiative to combine their institutional knowledge of our business, information from matters they were working on for us and insights looming on the horizon, and recommended a two-year litigation strategy to address these issues. The result clearly addressed our needs, but it also helped set new law and helped our industry as a whole. Our business management loved it!” The firm earned not only more legal work, but became more involved in legal strategy.
diversity  metrics  firms  clients 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
Thomson Reuters Westlaw Analytics Could Jumpstart Legal Moneyball | Blue Hill Research
Westlaw Analytics has the potential to be a definitive response to these concerns. However, it is far from the first legal analytics solution. However, other applications have proven to be a bit more niche, addressing specific practices or positions within the legal service chain. For example, a number of enterprise legal management (ELM) and legal billing management solutions, including LexisNexis’s CounselLink and Thomson Reuters’s own Serengeti, offer analytics capabilities related to legal spend management. While both solutions can drive a great deal of insight, they have little value outside of helping general counsel understand who they should be working with, when, and how much they should pay. Smaller, spend management solutions such as Sky Analytics and SimpleLegal are both focused on largely the same problem. At the same time, we’ve seen the emergence of analytics toolsets that address research and practice-specific problems, largely by deploying data discovery and visualization capabilities most often associated with solutions like Tableau to limited, unstructured datasets commonly employed in legal work. The above-mentioned Ravel Law and emerging intellectual property analytics hotshot Lex Machina both fall into this category. Still other vendors have focused on building marketing analytics for law firms. Here, vendors like start-up Jurify, which offers a powerful corporate law research platform as well as Big Law market intelligence capabilities, leap to mind.

In this context, Westlaw Analytics stands out for its breadth of applicability. Rather than speaking to a particular domain or workflow, the solution is pointed at a foundational aspect of all practice. Whatever the practice, legal research represents the “soft belly” of a great deal of legal work. Research is often a source of cost and delay in legal matters. It is also an area where personal idiosyncrasies often reign. As a result, Westlaw Analytics has the potential to cut across a large number of use cases and provide value in a wider range of scenarios than many of the other legal analytics tools that are currently on the market. As such, it might offer the legal industry’s first mainstream entry point to analytics. Don’t discount any of the other solutions named above either. Each one is a strong offering. However, each faces challenges in explaining their value to the wider legal community. Because Westlaw Analytics addresses such a fundamental aspect of legal work, it may not have the same problem.
data  analytics  metrics  startups  research  moneyball 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
A Big Day — The Justice Index is Launched | Richard Zorza's Access to Justice Blog
But what really interests me is that each sub-index is much more distributed than the composite.  I think this often happens when you combine scores, but here is is somewhat counter-intuitive.  We tend, for better or worse, to assume that is a state is “good” in one of these areas it will be good in all or most.  This suggests otherwise.  I like to think of that as good news, because it means that every state is relatively good in one area, and that there is a foundation on which to build out in the other areas.
access  metrics 
february 2014 by JordanFurlong
On ‘Hybrid’ Partners And The Games Law Firms Play « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources
Frankly, I’ve never quite understood law firms’ fascination with profits per partner. Firms say they must keep their numbers high to attract lateral partners to the firm. But why does a lateral partner care? Lateral partner candidates might care deeply whether a firm was offering them personally $1 million or $2 million or $3 million per year in projected draw as an enticement. But would a lateral candidate decline an offer to earn $2 million per year simply because the firm’s average profits per partner were only a million five?
partners  metrics 
january 2014 by JordanFurlong
When will law grads and law jobs reach equilibrium? Between 2015 and 2021, depending on who you ask
She then looked at National Association for Law Placement data to see if it would support that prediction. She assumed that "enrollment of first-year law students will decline by 8 percent from the previous year through the 2015 entering class," that 12 percent of each entering class would not graduate, that "new full-time jobs in three categories—bar required, J.D. advantage, and other professional jobs—will hold steady at the 2012 level of 31,776 jobs," and that all categories of full-time jobs would hold steady at 33,759. Based on that, she saw the equilibrium coming in 2017.

Ohio State University law professor Deborah Merritt decided to crunch numbers herself and posted her conclusions at Law School Cafe. She used "the appropriate ABA data," assumed that 10 percent of each entering class would not graduate, and considered long-term full-time jobs requiring bar passage. She arrived at 2021.

The National Jurist then picked up on the posts and weighed in. It points out that the highest-ever rate of law grads employed in full-time legal jobs was 84.5 percent. And between 1998 and 2008, it hovered at 75 percent. And it one considers that 75 percent figure the "historical equilibrium," then the class of 2016 will reach it. The publication promises a chart with all of the data in its January issue.
schools  admission  metrics 
december 2013 by JordanFurlong
Predictive Analytics – Gaining a Competitive Edge
Law firm leaders who embrace predictive analytics to manage their businesses and their practices can establish a sustainable competitive advantage over competitors who rely on gut instinct and sheer intellect to leader their enterprises.  There are multiple opportunities to employ predictive analytics in a law firm:  to run the business more efficiently and effectively; to pursue more lucrative clients and engagements; to recruit and train lawyers for success and longevity; and to practice law in such a way as to be a step ahead at all times.
metrics  data  predictive 
november 2013 by JordanFurlong
Law Firm Counts On Analytics For Profitability | Big Data
Law firms haven't done much analyzing of their practices, though some firms were early leaders in the use of text analytics. Analytics is on the rise in law firms, thanks to the 2008 recession and the rise of e-discovery and e-billing.
data  metrics  profitability 
september 2013 by JordanFurlong
What Can the Legal Industry Learn from Nate Silver? | Mootus Blog
What’s wrong? According to Silver: “If you don’t know where you are in the present, it’s very hard to take quality steps toward the future.” His view is that we’re not very good at understanding all of the complex relationships among all of this data. We continue to throw machines at the data and hope they can make sense of all these points. But many of these relationships are just coincidences. As a result, there’s a huge gap between what we think we know and what we actually know.
metrics  schools 
september 2013 by JordanFurlong
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