by Amy Guldner
No surprise here! The July 2012 issue of the ABA Journal had a story titled ‘Entry’ Fee: Surprise – Inexperienced Associates Cost More, and noted that the 2012 Real Rate Report found that the use of an entry-level associate cost 17.5% more than an experienced associate.
The 2012 Real Rate Report, jointly released by TyMetrix Legal Analytics and Corporate Executive Board (CEB), analyzed more than $7.6 billion in law firm billings generated from 2007 through 2011 by more than 4,000 law firms and roughly 120,000 billers (including 80,000 partners and associates at firms ranging from Am Law 200 to sole practitioners). The report noted that, “[s]ince the recession, in-house counsel have been increasingly reluctant to pay fees for entry-level associates,” and found that the percent of lawyer hours billed to a company for entry-level associates steadily decreased from 7% in 2009 to just under 3% in 2011.
The report also found that the rates for the highest billing partners ($800+ per hour) grew nearly three times faster than rates for the lowest billing partners (less than $300 per hour), and rates for the highest billing associates ($500+ per hour) grew nearly five times as fast as the lowest billing associates (less than $200 per hour).
Small law firms tend to struggle with this reality – clients that want to support a specialized boutique, but want to avoid paying to train associates. Montage Legal Group’s experienced attorneys can provide some relief by allowing firms to offer blended rates and other options that clients find attractive, all at an exceptional value.
For more information on Montage Legal Group’s experienced freelance attorneys, please contact us at [email protected], or 949-400-0798.