Data on average hourly rates of lawyers in the U. S.

Here is a snippet of data from GC Mid Atlantic, Sept. 2006 at 29-30: “The Esquire Group, a national legal search and consulting firm, reports that its average hourly rate for contract attorneys is $80 per hour, while the average hourly rate of in-house counsel is $108 per hour and outside counsel rates average $185 per hour.”

The fact is, contract attorneys have the same hourly cost has employed attorneys, but they do not incur a typical 25-to-30 percent benefits load. As to the rate comparison between in-house counsel and outside counsel, both figures seem low (See my post of Oct. 18, 2005 on how to calculate the former figure.), and the gap seems much larger than other data suggests (See my post of Nov. 16, 2005 and a $190 an hour outside figure.),

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