Footers in reports

Five reports, selected at random from as-yet untouched reports, give us grist for the mill of how survey firms grind page footers. The five reports are Berger Singerman SFLRE 2017, Clifford Chance AsiaMA 2017, Davies Ward Barometer 2007, Fulbright Jaworski Lit 2008, and Dykema Gossett MA 2014. Footer styles vary widely (centered, balanced left and right, different fonts, gaps above and below, and otherwise) but their content consists typically of one or more of the following: the law firm’s name, the title of the report, the page number, or a notice of copyright.

Consider the footer from the Dykema Gosset report [pg. 15]. The snippet below includes two footnotes just above the footer to convey the gap between the text and the footer. [No line exists below the actual footer, as the gray line marks the bottom of the page.] Note that the footer is light blue and nestles in the center of the page. It states the title of the report, adds a separator bullet, and then the page number.

Footers should be analyzed at the same time as headers. It is likely that between the two of them, a report handles background information as a leit motif. For example, it would dilute the attention of readers to put the firm’s name in both the header and the footer on each page.

As it turns out, each of the five reports inserted a footer. Berger Singerman used the footer to identify itself. Clifford Chance inserted the title of the report on the left of the footer and its name on the right. Davies Ward put the date of the report on the left side and the page on the right.

Fulbright did something more complicated, as can be seen in the image below.

Fulbright used the footer to assert its copyright on the left side of odd-numbered pages and on the right side of even-numbered pages. The gap between the last line of text and the footer matches the gap of Dykema Gosset (again, the bottom gray line is actually the end of the page). Meanwhile, having placed a thin border around each page, Fulbright included the URL of where to find the report as a quasi-footer in the middle of the bottom page border.

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