The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)’s Value Index was announced and shared with members at last month’s annual meeting in Boston. As reported in my earlier post, the criteria for measuring outside law firm’s performance is based on a grading system from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) relating to the following service areas:

  1. Understands Objectives/Expectations
  2. Legal Expertise
  3. Efficiency/Process Management
  4. Responsiveness/Communication
  5. Predictable Cost/Budgeting Skills
  6. Results Delivered/Execution

Joyce Smiley in her November issue of “Verbatim” relates that a key question is also part of the index; to wit: “Would you use this firm again?;” and the ACC encourages “law firms to adjust their client satisfaction criteria to match the Value Index.”

A wise move. Suffice it to say, every firm should ask at least their key clients how they stack up against those six criteria whether their in-house counsel belongs to ACC or not. And such inquiries should be made by the managing partner or an outside third party, but not the attorney(s) working on the clients’ matters. A firm is more likely to get honest answers that way.