A recent study among a dozen U.S. law firms showed from a large set of invoices a 50 percent difference between them in blended billing rates. The study looked at nearly $3 million worth of invoices from the firms. It calculated each firm’s aggregate blended billing rate – adding up all the invoice amounts across multiple matters, including disbursements, and dividing that sum by the number of lawyer hours. (See my earlier post of today on the scarcity of paralegal hours in this set.)
The blended billing rates ranged from a high at one firm of about $340 per hour to a low of about $240, nearly 40 percent. With this wide range, it makes sense to pursue a policy of having good regional firms handle your work, reserving only the most sophisticated and exceptional work for the higher cost coastal firms.