My initial data set of law-firm research surveys developed serendipitously. As I gathered legal industry surveys over the past couple of years, I found several that were sponsored by law firms. Having started to analyze that set, it occurred to me to look at the largest firms in the world.
According to the American Lawyer and in order of declining numbers of lawyers, the ten most gargantuan firms consist of Baker McKenzie, DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright, Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, Latham \& Watkins, White \& Case, Greenberg Traurig, Morgan, Lewis, and Sidley Austin. I searched on Google for research surveys sponsored by each of them using the simple term of the first two names of the firm plus the word “survey,” e.g., “Baker McKenzie survey”. I then read over the first five or six pages returned by Google and did my best to spot research surveys.
One could certainly shoot holes in this methodology. Also I should point out that I treated a series of surveys hosted by a firm over several years as a single survey. I also did not include in my account compilations by any of the firm of laws or regulations, which some law firms call surveys. It might also be that terms like “poll” or “straw vote” or “questionnaire” would have uncovered other examples.
For several of the firms I already had at least one survey and I combined what I had with what I found online. The plot below shows the results of my poking around online and preexisting surveys. It plots the number of research surveys found per thousand lawyers of the firm. The standardization of per-thousand-lawyers accounts for the likelihood that firms with more lawyers produce more research surveys. With this standardization, a 2,000 lawyer firm with two surveys has outproduced and 4,000 lawyer firm with three surveys, on a survey per lawyer basis.
My searches on the four law firms at the lower right (Latham \& Watkins, Jones Day, and Greenberg Traurig) turned up no research surveys. If any reader knows of research surveys by the ten largest, or by any other law firm, I would appreciate hearing from you about them.