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Hourly rates of US partners in 2008, surprisingly low

CT TyMetrix recently announced its 2010 Real Rate Report which will issue in September. Meanwhile, a handout at the SuperConference provided data on the 2009 median, weighted, partner hourly rate in the United States. Based on more than $4 billion of bills covering 17,548 law firm partners, all weighted by the number of hours billed by each partner (rather than an average of each partner’s rate, by contrast), the figure after discounts was $340 an hour.

That figure — $340 an hour – may strike some readers as low, but that is because our mental frame, the barrage of news reports we get, harps on $900+ rates of the costliest partners in the largest firms. Those stratospheric charges contrast sharply to the generally prevailing and modest rates in other firms in other parts of the country. Even at that median rate, half the partners bill less (See my post of April 30, 2009: billing rates of partners with 14 posts.).