Claims Cash

2011 was a record-breaking year for recoveries under the False Claims Act (FCA), Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher recently reported. The study showed that both the government and whistleblowers raked in some serious cash in penalties last year.

$3.03 billion FCA recoveries by the federal government during the fiscal year ending Sep. 30, 2011

$8.7 billion Total FCA recoveries by the federal government since January 2009

$532 million Share awards collected by whistleblowers in 2011 (private individuals can receive up to 30 percent of any FCA recovery). This is the highest yearly recovery on record.

84% 2011 new matters introduced under the FCA that were reported by whistleblowers

School Secrets

Despite increasing pressure to be more transparent with their job placement statistics, law schools are keeping the employment data of 2010 graduates under wraps, reports Law School Transparency, a non-profit dedicated to making law school information available to the public.

Here are some of the key findings from the group’s Winter 2012 Transparency Index Report:

51% Law schools that wouldn’t report the number of students that responded to job placement surveys

17% Law schools that said how many students held full-time versus part-time jobs

26% Law schools that reported how many students got jobs that didn’t actually require a J.D.

10% Law schools that revealed how many students were employed in school-funded jobs

E-discovery Estimates

The eDJ Group recently released a report reviewing e-discovery in 2011 and forecasting the major trends that we will see in 2012. Some of the most important statistics from their findings are below:

70% Respondents who are leaning towards using the cloud for information storage

58% Respondents who didn’t know if their company had an e-discovery plan in place for cloud-based storage

38.1% Respondents who thought it was too soon to tell if predictive coding is defensible

Law School Stats

The 2011 Law School Survey of Student Engagement checked in with the future of law departments everywhere, receiving responses from 33,000 students at 95 different law schools across the country.

80% Students who said they would go to law school again if they got a do-over

40% Students who felt their law school education contributed only “some” or “very little” to their skills and job knowledge

51% Female students who said they frequently asked questions in class

68% Male students who said they frequently asked questions in class

High Hopes for Hiring

A survey by Robert Half Legal of 200 law firms and corporations took a look at the legal world’s hiring plans for the first quarter of 2012, and the good news is, it looks like a net gain overall.

31% Lawyers at law firms and corporations who said they plan to hire legal personnel in the next three months.

4% Lawyers surveyed who plan to cut jobs

88% Lawyers at hiring law firms and corporations who plan to add additional lawyers

39% Lawyers at hiring law firms and corporations who plan to add paralegals

35% Lawyers at hiring law firms and corporations who plan to add legal secretaries

Corporate Costs

Altman Weil’s 2011 Chief Legal Officer Survey gathered information from CLOs on issues related to managing corporate legal departments. Perhaps unsurprisingly, CLOs said that their No. 1 priority for 2012 will be controlling costs. However, evidence suggests that in 2011, CLOs eased up a bit on cost cutting.

56% CLOs that increased their budget in 2011

46% Law departments that increased their outside spending

84% Law departments that use some form of non-hourly billing