Law firm statistical survey (LFSS)

Start adding items to your reading lists:
or
Save this item to:
This item has been saved to your reading list.

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.


Explore further

Timing

Submissions for participation in the 2018 LFSS are due on April 19, 2019. Results will be distributed on May 31, 2019.

View more

Key benefits to participation

  • A comprehensive view of key operational metrics used by law firms: profitability, cost management, administrative staffing levels, leverage, cash management and capitalization.
  • Five distinct audience-specific reports that include two boardroom style reports with high-level reporting trends and three detailed reports intended for the CFO/Controller.
  • Access to over 500 distinct standard comparison groups or Firm Specific ‘Peer Groups’ categorized by firm or office size, location, profitability, or other requested criteria.
  • Comparisons to a strong participation base that last year included many of the largest, most profitable law firms.
  • A thorough data review and validation process that preserves the integrity of the published results.

View more

Data disclaimer & confidentiality statement

Data security and participant anonymity continue to be our top priority. To demonstrate how seriously we take this matter, please download a copy of our ‘Data disclaimer & confidentiality’ statement.

View more


How to participate in the LFSS

Data form & instructions

Data form

Participants in the 2018 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 that 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 will ensure consistency and enhance comparability in the results.

The 2018 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:

Instructions

The 2018 LFSS instructions document provides detailed information on the values requested for each form.

NEW: Past participants should contact a Survey staff member to obtain a tailored data form containing historical data submitted to the survey.

View more

Comparison groups

‘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 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).

‘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 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 your comparison group selections. Please email a Survey staff member if you need assistance.

View more


LFSS report offerings 

Introduction

All of the financial and operational statistics provided within the 2018 LFSS are for the operating year ending December 31, 2018. Base salary information for administrative leaders and departmental supervisors are collected and reported as of January 1, 2019. Outlined to the left 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.

View more

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".

View more

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".

View more

Senior Administrative Leaders Compensation & Staffing Report (SAL)

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.

View more

The Management Reports (MPR & MSR)

The Management Reports compare 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.

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.

View more

The 'Report Export' Spreadsheet

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 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.

View more

Contact us

Gregg Sincoff

Tax Managing Director

Laurie Lieb

Director

Follow us