NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Incisive Legal Intelligence, a leading source of business intelligence for the legal profession, today announced the release of its 2009 Billing Rates and Practices Survey Report, focused primarily on small and mid-sized legal practices. The report includes analyses of 2008 hourly billing rates and alternative billing practices based on factors including firm size, geography, practice area and years in practice. For further information, or to purchase a copy of the survey, visit www.incisivelegalintel.com.
The average hourly billing rate reported was $284. Nationally, plaintiffs’ contingency litigation is the practice area with the highest average hourly billing rate ($413), followed by labor/employment ($302), general law ($295) and real estate/land use ($294). The billing rate survey data represents a sample of more than 14,000 lawyers throughout the 50 United States, drawn from responses from 255 law firms.
In addition to hourly billing, 88 percent of respondents reported offering alternatives to the billable hour. Larger firms are more likely to offer alternatives and variations to the billable hour than smaller firms. Nearly two-thirds of respondents offer contingency fees or fixed or flat fees. Other top alternatives include discounted hourly billing, blended hourly rates, hybrid fees and retainer arrangements.
Many firms also reported having annual billable hour requirements. The average reported billable hour requirements were 1,728 hours for partners, and 1,835 hours for associates. Partners and associates in the South and West reported the highest annual billable hour requirements, with firms in the Midwest reporting the lowest billable hour requirements in the Midwest.
Incisive Legal Intelligence (formerly ALM Research and Altman Weil Publications) offers the legal industry’s most extensive online database of legal market intelligence, as well as syndicated survey reports, including the annual Survey of Law Firm Economics and Law Firm Business Development Survey. Incisive Legal Intelligence is a division of Incisive Media.
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