When legal managers want to present data by State or by country, they can make good use of what is called a “choropleth”. Choropleths are maps that color their regions in proportion to the count or other statistic of the variable being displayed on the map, such as the number of pending law suits per State or amounts spent on outside counsel by country. Darker colors typically indicate more in a region and lighter shades of the color indicate fewer.
Below is an example of a choropleth that appears in Exterro’s 2016 Law Firm Benchmarking Report at page 8. It shows how many of the 112 survey participants come from each state.
California is the darkest with 21; the grey states had no participants. The table below the map, which is truncated in this screen shot, gives the actual numbers by State, so someone could carp that the choropleth sweetens the eye but adds no nutritional information. Still, it looks pretty good and it is an unusual example of an effective graphical tool.