Lawyer Pay

Pay gap between male and female partners narrows to 34%; what is their average compensation?

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The average male law firm partner earns 34% more than the average female partner, which is less of a differential than in prior years, according to a survey by recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa in association with Law360.

Average compensation for male partners in midsize and large law firms is $1,212,000 for male partners and $905,000 for female partners, according to the 2022 Partner Compensation Survey. A summary and a link to download the survey is here.

The pay differential was 53% in 2018 and 44% in 2020.

Average partner compensation overall was $1,119,000, up 15% from 2020. Median compensation was $675,000.

Average compensation was $1,473,000 for equity partners and $460,000 for nonequity partners.

Law360 sent the survey in May to more than 35,000 law firm partners working in the nation’s top 350 law firms by size, as ranked by the National Law Journal, and the top 100 international law firms based on profitability, as ranked by International. Law360 received 1,815 responses.

Among 1,691 partners who provided information on originations, the median for equity partners was $2,050,000, and the median for nonequity partners was $550,000.

The survey also found:

    • The average billed time for all partners was 1,721 hours, and the average nonbilled time was 481 hours. That is the highest average number of billable hours and the lowest number of nonbillable hours since Major, Lindsey & Africa’s first partner compensation survey in 2010. Corporate partners had a larger percentage increase in billable hours than other practice areas—1,792 hours, up from 11% in 2020.

    • Average total partner compensation was highest in New York, at $1,817,000, and lowest in Seattle, at $714,000. Partners in Dallas saw the highest percentage gain in compensation at 87%, bringing their total average compensation to $1,454,000. The next highest increases were reported by partners in Atlanta at (65% for a total of $987,000) and Houston (48% for a total of $1,348,000).

    • Corporate partners reported the highest average total compensation at $1,488,000, while labor and employment partners had the lowest average total compensation at $653,000.

    • About two-thirds of partners said working from home was at least somewhat important. The breakdown: 26% said it was somewhat important, 33% said it was very important, and 10% said it was so important that they would change firms because of it.

    • The average age of expected retirement was 64.48 years. Asked how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the expected timing of retirement, 12% said they expected to retire earlier, 6% said they expected to retire later, and 81% said it did not affect their decision.

Hat tip to and Reuters, which had coverage of the survey.

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