With sky-high demand and expenses beginning to rise, the conventional wisdom on rate increases in Big Law firms last year was straightforward: Get it while the getting is good.

Standard rates grew about 5.7% across the industry in 2021, according to Wells Fargo. More than 80% of the Am Law 100 increased billing rates by over 3%, according to this year’s report, and a similar proportion intend to do the same for 2022. Meanwhile, worked rates—the rates that firms actually agree to with particular clients for work on given matters—grew 3.9% across the industry and 5.6% in the Am Law 100 specifically, according to Thomson Reuters.

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