The LFSS continues to be recognized as a leader in providing operational and profitability metrics to law firms since 1957.
The Law Firm Survey Team is committed to providing detailed information and trends relative to staffing levels and expense management that can allow your firm to maintain a competitive market position.
Submissions for participation in the 2020 LFSS are due on April 23, 2021. Results are expected to be distributed in early June 2021.
Data security and participant anonymity continue to be our top priority. To demonstrate how seriously we take these matters, please download a copy of our ‘Data disclaimer & confidentiality’ statement to review.
Participants in the 2020 Law Firm Statistical Survey (LFSS) have the following two options for submitting their data:
Preferred method: Free Data Extraction Tool
The Data Extraction Tool is available free to participants in this survey who have either Elite or Aderant time and billing systems. The Data Extraction Tool is a stand-alone, desktop application that can be installed and run on any PC at your firm.
All LFSS participants who intend to use the Data Extraction Tool must visit the download site to install the latest application on a designated PC.
A key advantage to using this Data Extraction Tool is the ability to preserve your firm's G/L Mappings to the survey-defined expense classifications across survey releases. Using this application will not only reduce the time to participate in subsequent releases, but it will ensure consistency and enhance comparability in the results.
The 2020 LFSS Data Extraction Tool installation instructions are available for download
Alternative method: Spreadsheet-based questionnaire
Law firms who are not on the Elite or Aderant time and billing systems can choose to submit their data using our spreadsheet-based questionnaire. Firms should download and complete the following:
The 2020 LFSS instructions document provides detailed information on the values requested for each form.
REMINDER: Past participants should contact a Survey Staff member to obtain a tailored data form containing historical data submitted to the survey.
‘Standard’ comparison groups
The following document contains a listing of all of the standard national and geographic comparison groups that we anticipate producing during this Survey release. The document also provides information on the types of reports available and serves as the report order form.
Based on the Survey participation levels, the size ranges of the comparison groups may change to ensure the value of the results provided.
We recommend that each Survey participant review the information contained within the comparison group description document before completing the report order form(s).
‘Peer firm’ comparison groups
Participants can also choose to create 'peer firm' comparison groups, provided the criterion for participation in the group adheres to all current antitrust laws.
We are asking that all participants identify a listing of their primary peers on a national level. To assist with this effort, we developed a ‘Peer Firms’ Listing which allows you to select from the 200 law firms that were listed on the most recent American Lawyer publication. Additional space has been provided for your Firm to identify any Peer Firm listed outside of the AmLaw 200.
If your Firm needs a group not shown on the comparison group listing, please contact a Survey Staff member to submit any custom group requests. All custom comparison groups are subject to the approval of the Survey Staff and must meet our confidentiality criteria and legal guidelines.
A member of the PwC Survey Team is available to assist your firm with your comparison group selections. Please email a Survey Staff member if you need assistance.
All of the financial and operational statistics provided within the 2020 LFSS are for the operating year ending December 31, 2020. Base salary information for administrative leaders and departmental supervisors are collected and reported as of January 1, 2021. Outlined to the left are the four audience-specific reports that your firm receives with participation in the LFSS. Sample reports from the Survey are included in the attached files.
The FOR contains a detailed summary of revenue and expenses, and their related factors. This report should be used for further departmental analyses and budget development. From the results, Department Managers can report back to the Executive Director with information about departmental-related expenses which may be favorable or "out of line".
The SAL focuses exclusively on the compensation and benefits for administrative leaders, as well as the staffing levels across all administrative functions. This supplemental report is included with LFSS participation.
The Managing Partners Report (MPR) and the Management Summary Report (MSR) compare your Firm’s data with two or three comparison groups ordered. They are high level summaries of key profitability and operational measures intended for the Managing Partner, or others who fill this role and have responsibility for the overall assessment of the Firm’s competitive situation.
From the results, an Executive Director can report back to the Managing Partner with information such as the Firm’s relatively high expenses being attributable to a particular department.
This spreadsheet-style report (in .xls format) consists of a 'data export' of the comparison group statistics provided within the Finance & Operations Reports ordered. The group statistics from each comparison group ordered by the Firm are displayed as a separate worksheet within the spreadsheet.
Please contact a Survey Staff member if you would like to preview this product.
Tax Managing Director, PwC US
Director, PwC US