ALM Legal Intelligence unveiled findings from it’s Annual Law Department Metrics Benchmarking Survey sponsored by LexisNexis CounselLink. The study, which analyzed data from 70 in-house law departments at U.S. companies with median global revenues of $3.3 billion, indicates that corporate legal hiring is showing pre-recession signs of life. The study also shows:
- A steady increase in corporate legal hiring– 59 percent of respondents reported they hired new lawyers in the past year, up from 51 percent in last year’s survey, and up from 44 percent and 39 percent in the two years prior.
- Budget cuts are down– Only 21 percent of respondents are planning on budget cuts in the coming year, down from 24 percent in 2012, and 28 percent and 33 percent in 2011 and 2010.
- AFA use is growing modestly– 82 percent of corporations used some form of AFAs with their outside counsel, up from 79 percent in 2012 and 72 percent in 2011. However, 58 percent of law departments remain limited users of AFAs, using them for less than 20 percent of their total outside counsel spending.
- Outsourcing of legal work is on the rise– 69 percent of corporations reported contracting legal service providers and/or vendors to provide services to the law department.
- Nearly half of companies are not using e-billing solutions– 50.8 percent of corporations reported used e-billing solutions a to submit legal invoices electronically, while a surprising 49.2 percent of respondents rely on homegrown or alternative billing solutions.