Lawyer Fees (Again)

Several months ago, we wrote about the latest survey of hourly billing rates for law firms nationwide. A new survey has now emerged: at the end of 2012, the National Law Journal (“NLJ”) published the findings of its annual survey for 2012. NLJ surveyed 55 of its top 350 nationwide firms, and found that the median firmwide billing rate for attorneys at these firms was $425 per hour. In other words, in the 55 law firms sampled, half of the lawyers — whether partners or associates — were billing at rates above $425 per hour, and half below that rate. The median rate for partners was $501 per hour.

The full survey can be found here.


Black’s Law Dictionary defines “champerty” as an agreement between a stranger and a party to a lawsuit, by which the stranger pursues the party’s claim in return for part of the ultimate recovery in the lawsuit. In many United States jurisdictions, champerty is a crime, or at least unethical for lawyers to engage in — but not in California.

Watch for next month’s issue of The Entrepreneurial Counselor to learn about the latest trends in third party funding of litigation, and the impact of “champerty” on the business community.