Building a Better Legal Profession :: The Old Blog

Two Firms Come Forward: “Mistakes Were Made” by refirm2007
October 28, 2007, 6:13 pm
Filed under: Job Search Tools

As a result of our project, several firms have decided to double-check their NALP reporting.  It turns out that a couple did not accurately report their statistics.  Sidley’s New York office, for example, sent us the following email:

In perusing your very detailed and comprehensive rankings, I became aware of an error on our part that was carried through to our rankings. In our New York office as of Feb. 1 2007, we had six (6) openly LGBT associates who for some reason were not reported on our NALP form. Needless to say, they are very distressed at this omission, and the additional consequence of seeing their office receive an “F” in ranking the number of lgbt associates.

Sidley has revised its NALP form and is committed to better reporting on its February 1, 2008 NALP survey.

Patton Boggs in DC found that it too had made an error, this time in pro bono participation figures.  The firm’s initial NALP response had its pro bono participation figures among the lowest in the country — suggesting that only 2% of the firm’s partners contributed to pro bono.

Fortunately, this was a mistake, and Patton now reports that 53.8% of partners and 85.2% of associates do pro bono work.  According to Mary Kimber, the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer:

It is my understanding that the confusion arose over the way the question was posited. The numbers that were in the NALP survey (and in error) were actually the percentage of pro bono hours worked vs. billable hours worked, rather than the percentage of participation. I hope that this clears up any misunderstanding and errors in the NALP survey and on the blog. Patton Boggs is proud of its commitment to pro bono and we appreciate you reporting on the correction of the NALP survey results.

To the best of our knowledge, no other firm made this kind of interpretative error.

A major goal of building a better legal profession is to encourage firms to prioritize full and accurate reporting on NALP forms.  We’re glad that these firms have renewed their commitments to such reporting, and look forward to publishing their updated numbers in our 2008 rankings.


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