Business of Law

Survey Shows Billable Rates for Associates Up 7.5 Percent, More Than Twice as Much as for Partners

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A survey by a Washington, D.C., consultant that maintains a database of attorney billable rates for paying clients found that fees charged for associates at about 550 law firms nationwide are going up faster than those for partners and counsel.

Over the past year, the Valeo Halftime Report from Valeo Partners says, billable rates for associates have risen by 7.5 percent from what was paid in 2011. Meanwhile, billable rates for partners and counsel have gone up by only 3.4 and 3.6 percent, respectively, reports the New York Law Journal.

In New York City, associate rates have gone up by about 8 percent, to an average of $551. Partners are paid an average $893, up 3 percent from the prior year.

The increase in associate billable rates applied across-the-board, to those at all experience levels, said Chuck Chandler. He is in charge of the legal consulting practice at Valeo.

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