The gap between the highest- and lowest-paid BigLaw partners is expanding
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Law firms seeking to hold on to top lawyers appear willing to pay higher amounts that increase the gap between their highest- and lowest-paid equity partners.
At the 100 highest-grossing firms, the median pay ratio was 9-to-1 in 2021, up from 8.8-to-1 the prior year, Law.com reports. At second hundred firms, the median ratio was roughly 9-to-1, up from 8-to-1 the prior year.
Some individual law firms compressed their pay ratios after some “dramatic increases” in 2020, the article reports. The equity partner pay ratio at Perkins Coie was 9.6-to-1 in 2021, down from 30.9-to-1 in 2020. The ratio was 11-to-1 at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, down from 21-to-1 in 2020.
Pay ratios can vary in any year because of one-time bonuses.
“But talent remains at a premium across BigLaw,” the article reports, “And the general trend is clear that the largest firms have grown increasingly willing to differentiate compensation between tiers of lawyers.”