Executive Summaries » Law Firm Hiring 2014

Law Firm Hiring 2014

August 13, 2014

More than 80 percent of respondents to a Today’s General Counsel survey of how in-house lawyers decide which law firms to hire rated the quality of the legal services they received from firms hired on the basis of personal relationships to be good or excellent.

Nevertheless, when asked if their organization would be better served if criteria other than personal relationships were used to select outside counsel, more than half of respondents said yes.

The “technical proficiency” of a law firm was of greatest importance to a large majority of respondents, but the way they defined that term varied greatly. Most indicated their perception of technical proficiency would be based on direct experience with the firm.

The main reason for retaining a particular law firm, according to 70 percent of respondents, was a previous positive experience with the firm. More than half also identified subject matter expertise as a key reason, while just under half cited the reputation or expertise of a particular lawyer or the fee structure.

Respondents from larger organizations and legal departments were more likely to say they relied on recommendations from trusted sources inside their organizations for making decisions about hiring a law firm. Respondents from smaller organizations were more likely to report that they relied on recommendations from sources outside their organization.

The survey article includes submitted comments from respondents about the selection process and ways in which they would like it to change.

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