Law firm statistical survey (LFSS)

The PwC Law Firm Statistical Survey (LFSS) is a consistently reliable source utilized in assisting law firm management with establishing solid business plans and strategies to stay on top of challenging financial and operational issues.

The LFSS continues to be recognized as a leader in providing operational and profitability metrics to law firms since 1957.

During these continuing challenging economic times, law firm management seeks the tools necessary to assist them in their cost-cutting initiatives.

The LFSS staff 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.

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Submissions for participation in the LFSS are due on April 14, 2017. Results will be distributed on May 31, 2017.

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For those firms with greater than 100 attorneys, the base participation fee is $1,950, which includes one comparison group. Participants with less than 100 attorneys will receive a base participation fee of $995. Additional comparison groups are billed at $400 each.

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Key benefits to participation

  • Obtain a comprehensive view of key operational metrics used by law firms: profitability, cost management, administrative compensation, benefits and staffing levels, leverage, cash management and capitalization.
  • Access over 700 distinct comparison groups categorized by firm or office size, location, your individual peers or other requested criteria.
  • Receive comparisons to a strong participation base that last year included many of the largest, most profitable law firms.
  • Receive a thorough data review and validation process that preserves the integrity of the published results.

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How to participate in the LFSS


The 2016 LFSS instructions document provides detailed information on the values requested for each form.

If your Firm used the Data Extraction Tool in the past, please contact a Survey staff member to obtain information for extracting the information this year.

Office reporting is no longer available within the LFSS. 

Note: New participants in the LFSS wishing to submit prior year data, or past participants in the LFSS who wish to revise prior year data, should contact a member of the Survey staff.

Data disclaimer and confidentiality

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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 participation fees, as well as the types of reports available. This document also 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).

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'Peer Firm' Custom 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 a participant completes the Peer Firms Listing, the $100 custom group surcharge will be waived.

If your firm needs a particular 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 its comparison group selections. Please email a Survey staff member if you need assistance.

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LFSS report offerings 


All of the financial and operational statistics provided within the 2016 LFSS are for the operating year ending December 31, 2016. Base salary information for administrative leaders and departmental supervisors are collected and reported as of January 1, 2017. Outlined below are the five audience-specific reports that your firm receives with participation in the LFSS. Sample reports from the Survey are included in the attached files.

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The Finance & Operations Report (FOR)

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".

Download LFSS finance & operations report

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The Detailed Operations Report (DOR)

The DOR is a detailed expense itemization for each broad expense category provided within the FOR. This report should be used for additional departmental analyses and budget development. From the results, Department Managers can report back to the Executive Director with more detailed information about departmental-related expenses which may be favorable or "out of line".

Download LFSS detailed operations report

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Senior Administrative Leaders Compensation & Staffing Report (SAL)

This Report focuses exclusively on the compensation and benefits for administrative leaders, as well as the staffing levels across all administrative functions. LFSS participants will receive this supplemental report at no additional cost. For all other firms, the report offering will be available to order at a cost of $700.

Download SAL Report

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The Managing Partner's Report (MPR)

The MPR compares your Firm’s data with two or three comparison groups ordered. It is a high level summary 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.

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The Management Summary Report (MSR)

The MSR compares your Firm’s data with two or three comparison groups ordered. It contains topics from the MPR which are supplemented with more detailed data. 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.

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The 'Report Export' Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet 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 will be displayed as a separate worksheet within the spreadsheet. Your Firm’s data for each office and practice group submitted to the Survey will be included in a separate worksheet.

Please contact a Survey staff member if you would like to preview this product.

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Contact us

Gregg Sincoff
Tax Managing Director, PwC US
Tel: +1 (646) 471 1335

Laurie Lieb
Tel: +1 (623) 561 8481

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