Law has traditionally operated in a world in which “inputs” formed the basis of analysis. For instance, the billable hour—how much time a lawyer puts into a particular matter—was the standard metric for measuring the overall worth, and even the quality of legal work. That is now changing. Pushed by their business-unit colleagues who have long stressed the need for “data analytics,” in-house legal departments are increasingly developing “output” based criteria for measuring, among other things, the quality of legal services. To help understand these changes, the Center has interviewed more than a dozen general counsel and legal professionals within in-house legal departments, law firms, and other newly emerging legal operations providers to better understand how to measure “quality” in legal services, and to offer a set of recommendations as to the development of open-source quality metrics in law. These interviews will help establish a baseline of what metrics currently exist and whether the legal teams of different industries or with different legal problems use different forms of evaluation.
The Project is interview based. Researchers will interview members of in-house legal teams, general counsel and legal operations personnel, about how they currently measure the value and quality of legal work. This will help establish a baseline of what metrics currently exist and whether the legal teams of different industries or with different legal problems use different forms of evaluation. Interviews will also be done with law firms and other legal service providers. Using these interviews, researchers will develop a series of testable “quality metrics in law.”
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