There are a number of metrics for measuring the economic success of law firms. American Lawyer [subscription only] keeps score and publishes rankings of what it regards as the nation’s top laws firms, not including, as far as I know, the top personal injury firms which, if their financial numbers were available, would likely be at the top of the list … by a mile.
Gross revenues and profits per lawyers are common measurements. American Lawyer has an interesting category: number of lawyers needed to produce $10,000,000 or more.
One category I have not seen used as a barometer of law firm success is “Number of Satisfied Clients.” In fact the only law-related service business I know of that advertises the number of its satisfied customers is LegalZoom, which, on its homepage, states the following:
Click here to go to LegalZoom’s homepage.
Is there any law firm in the country that could or would claim to have over a million satisfied clients and to advertise “Satisfaction Guaranteed?” Not that I know of.
It would be interesting to think through the ways in which LegalZoom resembles a law firm and the ways in which it does not.
Allowing one’s imagination free reign, one could see in one’s mind’s eye, a small group consisting of former associates at corporate law firms, venture capitalists and one celebrity lawyer going over the American Lawyer scorecard, seeing the category “Number of lawyers needed to produce $10,000,000” and smiling.