What is the most important benchmark metric for legal department performance that we don't have? An odd beginning, perhaps, to this inaugural column, but the question is significant. Amid all the metrics we have, what number do we wish we had that would most fill out our understanding of legal department performance? For readers with nano-attention spans: settlements.
But let's look behind the quick answer and understand the important metrics we have a good handle on. For the most part benchmark studies collect reliable data on staffing. Certainly there are nuances, such as full-time-equivalents, who is a "paralegal," and practicing lawyers who are not on the general counsel's budget, but people figures are relatively firm.