On Monday, a non-profit comprised of about 200 law schools announced that it had acquired Lawyer Metrics, a legal data business founded by professors William Henderson and Christopher Zorn.
Henderson, who studies the legal profession, teaches law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, while Zorn teaches political science and law at Pennsylvania State University.
Their five-year-old Lawyer Metrics, known for its data around lawyer hiring and retention, will operate under its current name as a non-profit affiliate of the acquirer, The Access Group.
Terms of the deal were undisclosed but Henderson and Zorn shared some information about the impetus behind its recent acquisition via email.
Regarding why, it was the quality of the buyer, Access Group, which has a mission that resonated with our management team. It also has tremendous resources to help us grow and positively impact the industry. Finally, we found AG’s non-profit status very attractive. We are a company of educators and researchers. This new status will enable us to become a repository for data from across the entire legal industry. Regarding the timing, as the opportunity developed we grew to appreciate what would be possible with the acquisition. On every dimension, the deal made sense for both the buyer and seller.
Big Law Business: How did you come across Access Group?
Many of the Access Group board members are law school deans who we have known professionally for many years. The idea was first suggested to us in early 2015.
Big Law Business: How will this change your involvement in Lawyer Metrics?
Going forward, Chris will operate as a special advisor to Access Group within Lawyer Metrics. In Bill’s case, we worked out an arrangement with Indiana Law where he will remain on the faculty and teach one semester per year. Thus, a lot of his professional time, particularly with regard to research, will be done in conjunction with Lawyer Metrics. Applied research in law is just getting started. Teaching improves one’s research, and research improves one’s teaching. It’s a virtuous cycle. We are very grateful for these arrangements.