For years, partners at big law firms have only had crude methods for figuring out whether they were paid well. Many partners have access to pay data at their own firms, and data from the Am Law 200 surveys has provided a general sense of what the average compensation was at other firms. But at the end of the day, if big-firm partners wanted to know what their peers across town were earning, they were stuck calling a headhunter or talking to law school pals.

“One of the biggest questions we ever get is, ‘Are we being paid what we should be paid?’,” says Jeffrey Lowe, the managing partner of Major, Lindsey & Africa‘s Washington, D.C. office So after years of fielding those questions, Major Lindsey decided to provide a definite answer. The recruiting company hired ADF Research and in June sent a compensation satisfaction survey to 30,000 law firm partners across the country. The findings, based on responses from 1,873 partners, provide information about the ranges in partner compensation, the criteria firms use in setting it, and whether partners are happy with what they earn.

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