Analysis Group, where everyone has a say

Hadrien Vasdeboncoeur (from left), Aaron Fix, Zach Skole, and Elliott West play for Analysis Group’s soccer team. They don’t always win. “We’re not athletes,” Skole said. “We’re economists.”
Hadrien Vasdeboncoeur (from left), Aaron Fix, Zach Skole, and Elliott West play for Analysis Group’s soccer team. They don’t always win. “We’re not athletes,” Skole said. “We’re economists.”
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

They are famously captured on TV courtroom dramas: the paid expert who’s called to the stand to testify on behalf of a corporation or for government prosecutors suing an executive.

The Analysis Group of Boston provides such expert testimony and consulting for law firms. Its nearly 600 employees, heavy on graduate degrees and data-crunching expertise, work from nine US offices and two overseas.

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“It’s more academic than corporate,” chief executive Martha S. Samuelson said of her company’s culture. “There’s a lot of focus on coming up with creative, intelligent solutions; that makes it fun and interesting and engaging for people.’’

Analysis Group claimed the number one spot for the second year in a row among large companies in the Globe’s Top Places to Work survey. Samuelson credits a practice of rewarding people who perform well and encouraging employees at all levels to come forward when they see problems. She encourages a “360 review” when someone is promoted to partner, to get feedback not just from upper management but from junior colleagues as well.

And honesty is encouraged. Samuelson recently had her own 360 review by the firm’s partners, with feedback gathered by a consultant and presented in a written report.

“It’s really good for you. It’s like having the best personal trainer,’’ said Samuelson, acknowledging that some observations can be tough to take. “It’s hard for people. We all would like to hear that we’re doing everything terrifically.”

The firm strives to create a collegial environment, Samuelson said, with mentoring for younger workers and training or outside coaching for those who may be struggling.

And then there are the clients. Working for both plaintiffs and defendants, Analysis Group is no stranger to controversial cases. But Samuelson doesn’t take all comers.

“We’ve had cases we’ve turned away for substantive, intellectual reasons,’’ she said. “And we’ve certainly had cases we haven’t taken because we’re not comfortable.’’

Like the Swiss banks prosecuted for plundering money from Jews in World War II. Or the tobacco industry. Or gun makers.

“If enough people don’t want to be involved in a case,” Samuelson said, “then it’s probably just something we shouldn’t do.’’