What is One Person Worth?

Published 05/17/2007

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The cost represented by people – the monetary investment it takes to find and hire them and then continue their skills education, and the loss of that investment when people leave or are terminated – is the largest and least understood expense at any law firm. This is as true for firms with hundreds or even thousands of lawyers and staff as it is for the small firm or even the sole practitioner with one staff person.

The issue is not whether the costs of hiring and turnover are too great; it's that firms don't know what these costs are, have no idea what goes into them and how to calculate them, and have no idea what the impact is on the bottom line. And, of course, there is the seldom-considered morale issue for those who remain. Each firm's experience likely is different in some way, but these specifics are not enough to prevent a realistic look at what they typically involve.

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