Sarah Sutherland writes an excellent post for Slaw discussing Quantifying the Value of Legal Information.
“Quantifying the value of legal information is difficult: the most valuable commodity in a law firm is the knowledge in the minds of the people who work there, and in the written information firms produce and acquire that elucidates their work. In the event of a bankruptcy, it’s possible that the only assets left to settle debts is the art on the walls, because the value can’t be recovered from the people’s heads when they leave — I always look at the art in law firms. The value of this information is more difficult to quantify than Apple’s computers and the coffee Starbucks sells. We can, however, make some assumptions about a hypothetical law firm and extrapolate some information about the value they deliver. I have done some math about the value that can be expected from a given scenario, and I am attaching a spreadsheet, so you can play with my numbers.”