Highlights from across the nation
Equity partners in the Middle Atlantic region reported the highest compensation. Partners in the top 10 percent of compensation there averaged $855,392 last year. New England's equity partners reported the lowest compensation, with lawyers in the top 10 percent earning $358,476 on average.
Average expenses per lawyer were $161,904 nationally, down 4 percent from the previous year. Expenses declined by 11 percent in the Middle Atlantic region, the sharpest drop, followed closely by East North Central firms, which saw a 10 percent decrease. Pacific firms, already grappling with the highest expenses on average, recorded the biggest increase, with the per lawyer average climbing 9 percent to $205,496.
Pacific region firms may have higher expenses, but their realization rates are helping pay the bills. Firms in that region had an overall realization rate of 92.7 percent. East South Central and West North Central firms saw even stronger realization rates, both topping 97 percent.
Firms with commercial litigation practices reported the highest average gross receipts per lawyer this year. They averaged $473,019. But that figure is down sharply from our previous survey, when commercial litigation practices reported average gross receipts of $654,724.
Among equity partners, average gross receipts topped $1.3 million at Middle Atlantic firms. After expenses, their firms cleared $553,760 per partner, the highest average firm income in the nation. Gross receipts per equity partner were lowest in the West North Central region at $681,025 per partner. But high realization and lower expenses pushed West North Central firms above those in New England when it came to average income per partner.