Steven Brill’s audacious decision to publish AmLaw profits per partner figures starting over three decades ago was without question the single most brilliant journalistic stroke Law Land trade media has ever experienced, creating an enduring franchise to this day. Whether it was on the whole a good thing or a bad thing or just a sooner-or-later-inevitable thing for the industry is a separate question.

That is not our question of the month.

Our question is hopefully a bit more circumscribed and tractable: What is the single best measure of law firm performance?

A couple of modest observations to put this in context:

  • By “best” we mean which measure contains the highest quotient of overall information about how a law firm is doing. It does not mean you have to like it or “endorse” it; it just means that you think it packs the highest density of content.
  • And second, we studiously put no descriptor in front of “law firm performance:” Whether that should be judged primarily in terms of finances, expertise, caliber of service, client/lawyer satisfaction, impact on the profession, or otherwise is yours to know and the audience’s to infer.

Ready?

What's the best measure of law firm performance?

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