What’s included in the Leopard Law Firm Index?

The index is currently based on seven weighted indicators of law firm sustainability. These eliminate bias for relative size of firm. We included the following factors:

  • Growth or decline in lawyer headcount
  • Average lawyer tenure at a firm which speaks to relative stability of a firm
  • Insider rating – Internal firm satisfaction; the higher the better in service to clients
  • Growth/decline in revenue per lawyer (RPL) over a 5-year period, indicating increases or declines in how clients value the lawyers at a firm
  • Relative success in lateral recruiting and retention (partners and associates)[4]
  • Relative success in recruiting and retaining entry-level lawyers
  • Promotions to partner as a percentage of eligible associates

Most of this data is sourced from Leopard Solutions’ unmatched, proprietary, quantitative data base, which is continuously updating research on over 246,000 individual lawyers and over 3,300 law firms in the US, alone.

The index components will be continually evaluated and updated.

Is the Leopard Law firm Index perfect?

No.  No individual study or report can suffice on its own. It’s important to look at a variety of sources, and importantly internal metrics, to get a more complete view of any firm.

In any model (of any kind) there are a few “outliers”; in this case, firms that perform in anomalous, or counter-intuitive ways.  For example, some firms (not many) have adopted a strategy of eliminating lower-performing practice areas. If they’re serious about that, their lawyer headcount and possibly “average lawyer tenure” scores will decline. That said, the Leopard Law Firm Index lets you quickly drill down into your data, compare that versus your strategies (goals and aspirations) and other data sources – to see opportunities you can capitalize on or weaknesses you’ll want to address.

Finally, not all data points in the Leopard Law Firm Index are available for all firms, which can impact the weighting. We will continue to fill in missing data, which will be reflected in our frequent updates.

So who’s behind this?

Leopard Solutions delivers the highest quality, most accurate and in-depth information on the legal market, leading law firms, and attorneys with easily searchable products.

We are a proud WBE organization that has grown into one of the most recognized and trusted legal market data providers in the United States. Our technology and the data are continuously updated to ensure market relevance and your competitive edge. Leopard Solutions’ high level of quality and depth is unmatched in the industry.

Above the Law is the most widely read source for original legal news and commentary. The ATL audience comprises everyone from GCs and Biglaw partners to the ranks of 1Ls. Written by lawyers for lawyers, ATL covers all aspects of the legal industry: from the Judiciary and law schools to Biglaw firms and legal technology innovators. ATL is the first with salary and bonus information and is a hub of professional advice and insight for legal professionals at all career stages. ATL is part of the Breaking Media network of sites.

And yours truly at Adam Smith, Esq.

[1] Not that there’s any shortage of reports—they’ve multiplied like kudzu as the legal media has embraced the business model genius of a product that can be compiled once and sold over and over at zero-marginal-cost. So in the States we have the Global 100 and the Global 200, the AmLaw 200, the NLJ 250, 350, 500, the “A List,” The Diversity Scorecard, the Pro Bono Scorecard, The Vault 100; and in the UK The Legal 500, The Lex 100, The Global Litigation 50, Asia-Pacific 100, US Top 50 (in London), European 100, and the Chambers Everything. Apologies if we omitted anything, because surely we have.

[2] Growing or shrinking by 10 lawyers means one thing to a 50-lawyer firm and something quite different to a 3,000-lawyer firm; the results you see correct for that.

[3] Each firm’s rating on the Leopard Index is presented only in graphic form, along the familiar green/yellow/red continuum. We chose this policy very much on purpose: The “narcissism of minor differences” (with thanks to Freud) is not a helpful or enlightening pastime, so yes, we’ve taken away that set of marbles.

[4] Relative success of a firm’s recruiting and retention efforts (lateral and entry-level) is based on when a lateral or new hire is likely to have achieved net profitability (ROI) and is more likely to stay at the firm.

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