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Solo & Small Firm Lawyers Earn an Average of $82,292

Posted by Larry Bodine | Apr 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

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Based on a survey of 1,500 lawyers in solo and small firms (fewer than 50 lawyers), Clio and Above The Law determined that 42% of these attorneys earn between $50,000 and $100,000 -- with an average of $82,292 -- but that 30% of these attorneys earn more than.

The size of your firm and the type of law you practice made the biggest difference, according to the newly-released 2018 Solo .

Solos earn far less -- 26% of solos earn less than $50,000 per year. However, 19% reported they earn more than $250,000.

The larger the firm, the higher the compensation:

  • In firms between 2 and 10 attorneys, the largest segment of respondents reported annual compensation in the $50,000 to $74,999 range.
  • In firms in the 11 to15 attorney category, the largest segment earned $100,000 to $149,000.
  • In firms with 26 to 50 attorneys, the largest group partners reported earning $100,000 to $149,000, while slightly more than 1/5 earned more than $150,000.

Looking at average raises received over the past few years:

  • 47.37% got more than 4% raises.
  • At the other end of the chart, 24.5% got no raise at all.
  • The remainder of attorneys got from 3.^5 to 5.8% raises.

Practice area also made a difference in compensation. Focusing only on partners:

  • The most lucrative practice areas reported were corporate, with partners earning $250,000 to $499,999, and litigation partners.
  • The preponderance of intellectual property lawyers earned from $150,000 to $249,000.
  • The largest segments of tax law partners earned from $100,000 to $149,000.
  • Partners in labor & employment reported that a preponderance earned $75,000 to $99,999.
  • The lowest compensation as found among partners in real estate, labor & employment and personal injury, with a preponderance reporting compensation of $50,000 to $74,999.

I expected the compensation numbers to be higher. The classic ways to increase your compensation are changing your practice area, joining a firm that pays high compensation, raising your rates and billingmore hours. The overlooked consideration that makes the biggest difference is actively marketing your practice. More about that coming up.

About the Author

Larry Bodine

Attorney and journalist Larry Bodine is the Senior Legal Marketing Strategist at LawLytics law firm marketing.

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