The Wall Street Journal’s front-page headline on billing rates this month tells only part of the story. “Legal Fees Cross New Mark: $1,500 an Hour,” the Feb. 9 article announced, before listing partner hourly rates at several big firms: $925 to $1,475 at Proskauer Rose; $895 to $1,450 at Ropes & Gray; $875 to $1,445 at Kirkland & Ellis; and so on and so on and so on.
That’s great if you can get it, but most firms can’t. The 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market from Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor tells a second part of the story: Realization and collection rates have plummeted.
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