Law Firms

What Downturn? $1M-Plus Partner Profits the Norm, Outpacing 25 Years of Inflation


Those yearning for the good old days of practice in the nation’s top law firms may not feel the same way about yesteryear’s lower paychecks.

In 1985, not a single law firm among the top 50 reported partner profits of $1 million or more, the Am Law Daily reports. Average partner profits were $309,314—or $623,057 in today’s dollars.

Today, all but seven of the top 50 firms have partner profits of $1 million or more, and the average is $1.5 million.

Similarly, average revenue per lawyer was $265,098 in 1985, compared to $843,099 in this year’s tally.

The American Lawyer first published financial information on America’s top law firms in 1985. Today, gross revenue is 13 times higher and head count has quadrupled.

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