Law firms are already ranked on a variety of criteria such as profitability, prestige and diversity. From the client standpoint, these ratings are helpful, but not necessarily essential. Now, for the first time, firms are going to be rated on something that really matters to the companies that hire them: customer satisfaction.
On Tuesday, the Association of Corporate Counsel will launch what it calls the ACC Value Index. According to a press release from the group, the index "will allow members of ACC to share ratings of law firms based on client satisfaction so that they can better meet company demands."
Companies taking part in the index will rate their law firms from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) on the following criteria:
• understanding objectives and expectations,
• legal expertise,
• efficiency and process management,
• responsiveness and communication,
• predictable cost and budgeting skills, and
• results delivered and execution.
Perhaps most crucially, participants will be asked: "Would you hire this firm again?" ACC says that its members will be able to browse or search the index "based on firm name, matter type or office location."
The index is the latest component in an ACC initiative that it calls the Value Challenge. In an interview with Corporate Counsel earlier this year, ACC general counsel Susan Hackett described the program as "an attempt to finally make some progress on a perennial problem, to systematically address the disconnect between the cost of legal service and the value of the services that are provided." According to Hackett, "Value from the corporate perspective means receiving a solution that addresses the client's problem -- for an appropriate cost."
ACC will roll out the Value Index at its annual meeting, which starts on Monday in Boston. The group is the leading in-house bar association, with more than 25,000 members around the world.
Follow complete coverage from the Association of Corporate Counsel's annual meeting in Boston on CorpCounsel.com.