Legal Fees

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Attorney's Fees

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics attorneys in New York earn $79.95 per hour, while in Chicago they average $71.28 per hour. The average hourly attorney rates across other states in the United States are: $61.41 in Florida, $70.10 in Texas, $71.28 in Chicago, $80.87 in California, and $91.14 in Washington D.C.

The top 5 most profitable global law firms as listed in this September 2017 article by news website "abovethelaw" and gathered by The American Lawyer are Latham & Watkins (averaging $2,823,000,000 per year); Baker McKenzie (reporting $2,670,000,000); Kirkland & Ellis (with a revenue of $2,651,000,000); Skadden Arps (averaging $2,495,000,000 per year); and DLA Piper (reporting $2,470,000,000).

Average base hourly salaries for attorneys working at these firms are:

--- Latham & Watkins: $119.95
--- Baker McKenzie: $107.67
--- Kirkland & Ellis: $118.15
--- Skadden Arps: $110.35
--- DLA Piper: $93.41

Below you will find more details on our findings.


In order to find data on the hourly attorney rates in law offices in New York versus those in other main areas of the United States, we pulled information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website, which refers to them as "lawyers".

Hourly rates are reported as described below:

--- New York: $79.95 per hour
--- Chicago: $71.28 per hour
--- Florida: $61.41 per hour
--- Texas: $70.10 per hour
--- California: $80.87 per hour
--- Washington D.C.: $91.14 per hour

To find the hourly attorney rates among global law firms, we researched salary information for the top 5 law firms in the world in company review websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed, which provide information on hourly rates and average salaries for hundreds of different companies as reported by their own employees.

Since both websites only inform attorneys' annual salaries, we had to calculate their hourly rates based on the assumption that lawyers work 40 hours a week.

Throughout the findings detailed below, we then divided each base yearly salary by 2,080, the estimated number of hours an attorney works each year. This figure derives from multiplying the 52 weeks in a year by the 40 hours we estimated they work per week:


All results were rounded up to two decimal places.


Glassdoor reports that Latham & Watkins pay their attorneys depending on their tenure. Attorneys who have been working in the firm for one to three years are paid differently than those who have been part of the company for longer. However, the data below averages all attorney salaries for the sake of this research.

The average base yearly salary for attorneys in Latham & Watkins is $249,493.

Consequently, Latham & Watkins attorneys make $119.95 per hour.

($249,493 / 2,080 = $119.95)


Indeed mentions, based on the reported salaries, that attorneys working in this law firm earn $223,952 a year.

Therefore, the average salary for attorneys in Baker McKenzie is $107.67 per hour.

($223,952 / 2,080 = $107.67)


Glassdoor reports that attorneys earn an average $245,753 per year while working for this company. Like at Latham & Watkins, first to third-year attorneys are paid differently, and earn less than the average at Kirkland & Ellis.

Hence, the average attorney salary at Kirlkand & Ellis is $118.15 per hour.

($245,753 / 2,080 = $118.15)


Glassdoor notes that the average base salary at Skadden Arps, regardless of previous experience and tenure, is $229,531 per year.

Therefore, the average salary for attorneys at Skadden Arps is $110.35 per hour.

($229,531 / 2,080 = $110.35)


Finally, Glassdoor reports an average base attorney salary at DLA Piper of $194,285 per year.

So, the average salary for attorneys at DLA Piper is $93.41 per hour.

($194,285 / 2,080 = $93.41)


Attorneys in New York earn $79.95 per hour, while in Chicago their hourly rate averages $71.28. Attorney salaries range from $93.41 to $119.95 per hour across the main global law firms, which are all based in the United States.