All practice groups are not created equal when it comes to benchmark metrics. Most notably, metrics abound for litigators. They can count cases, elapsed time, outside counsel costs, pages of discovery, motions filed, resolution amounts and more. Likewise, transactional attorneys who spend much of their time on agreements can count contracts: their type, dollars involved, elapsed time from start to finish, which clients requested them and more. The fertile fields of these lawyers grow benchmarks all over.
Take pity on the poor souls who primarily counsel clients, who give advice over the telephone or by e-mail or in meetings. They struggle in a desert of benchmarks. It's unclear sometimes when the guidance they gave begins, or how long they were involved. Early on, the dollar value of their guidance may be wholly speculative. Sometimes a proposed action of a client makes no sense or is abandoned and it is unclear about the "closing" date of some advisory matters. When you work through an antitrust problem, there may be nothing put in writing, no milestones and no outside counsel invoices.