What We Do

One of the most significant changes in the profession in recent years has been the increased focus on metrics, particularly by law departments.  At the same time, others have wondered aloud (or silently) what metrics are worthy of attention.  To help address this, we’ve undertaken a project to identify the universe of metrics law departments and law firms might consider, to be followed by a qualitative assessment of the metrics contained on the list.  We welcome input, so if you have a metric that you think should be included on this list, send an email to  Be careful though -- he'll be a fan of yours for life.


List of Metrics For Law Departments and Law Firms 





Cycle time

Number of days a matter is open

Longer cycle time correlated to higher fees

Performance to budget

How close is the fee to budget, both plus and minus

Need to protect against people inflating budgets to always “come in under”.

Results to predicted outcomes

Accurate prediction of outcome allows better earlier decisions

Decision trees are a useful tool

Timely work completion

When work plans are created and dates of completion are recorded, completion should be tracked

Allows evaluation of the reliability of planning process

Percentage of holdback buckets awarded

This is not the percentage of the amount of holdbacks but instead the raw number.

Higher percentage is indicative of widespread client satisfaction

Percentage of holdbacks awarded

This is a raw dollars percentage that can exceed 100%

Reflects bonuses and premiums actually paid

Re-engagement percentage

The percentage of clients with on-going matters that retain lawyer/law firm for further matters

Client satisfaction indicator (Law firm version)

Re-use index

1-5 scale on how inclined the client is to re-use the lawyer/law firm


Recommendation index

1-5 scale on how inclined the client is recommend lawyer/firm to colleague or friend


Creativity Index

Requires client to assign a score on lawyer’s creativity in solving problems, structuring settlements, providing strategy ideas, etc.

Not really susceptible to excessive refinement.  Suggest Good/Bad/Neutral or something equally broad

After Action Ratio

Percentage of matters on which firm provides after action assessment

Can be modified to count only those that are considered valuable

Quality of Advice

1-5 scale



Quality of Written Product


1-5 scale



Quality of Outcomes

1-5 scale


Wins v. Losses

Numerical law firm score for trials, arbitrations, contested proceedings


Effective disaggregation

1-5 scale



Number of events per month

An event would be two or more people meeting to discuss the case, brainstorm about strategy and tactics, and similar discussions yielding value for client

Average team seniority

Higher average means more experienced team, which is what you want on most non-hourly engagements


Transparency Index

1-5 on how transparent work, work product, planning and strategy is to client


Total Value Index

1-5, Factoring in all metrics weighted in whatever manner client sees fit


Average number of timekeepers per matter



Average years of experience per matter



Average billing rate per matter



Ratio: Fees to Disbursements



Number of fixed fee matters on which changed fee is requested

Should be 0.

If not, the reasons should be carefully considered.

Percentage of law firm revenue derived from non-hourly fee structures



Percentage of law department spend spent on non-hourly fee structures



% of claims resolved within 30 days of claim (pre-lawsuit, by claims handler)


Purely internal to law department

% of claims resolved within 180 days of service of lawsuit



Legal spend per revenue


Law Department



Law Department

Net average hourly rate—law department



Net average hourly rate—law firm



% of external spend on diverse lawyers/firms