General Question

leduxity's avatar

Reasonable hourly rate for new attorney?

Asked by leduxity (45 points ) August 3rd, 2009

How much should I charge per hour as a semi-new attorney? I graduated a year ago at the top of my class and have a year’s experience at a big firm. They were billing me out at $210/hr, but I know that’s ridiculous. Thanks!

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8 Answers

crunchaweezy's avatar

Whatever keeps you happy, you charge.

dpworkin's avatar

I think this requires some market research, to determine what the norms are for sole practitioners in your area. Then, it’s up to you to decide where along the spectrum you belong.

emilyrose's avatar

Is $210 high or low? If you think low, you are wrong! Always start high. Especially if you are a woman. I have heard that one reason women make less than men is that they don’t ask for enough.

leduxity's avatar

Thanks for your answers, everybody. I think $210/hr is too high for an attorney with only a year’s experience. I’ll actually be doing contract work for an attorney/friend of the family, who has asked me to come up with a reasonable rate.

filmfann's avatar

@leduxity Welcome to Fluther. Lurve.
My lawyer billed me at $75 per hour when out of court, $150 in court.
I’m figuring I spent about 3 minutes responding to this, so I will bill you.

marinelife's avatar

Welcome to Fluther. You may find this article on how firms determine billing rates for new attorneys from LawCrossing helpful.

Excerpt: “The new graduate salary being offered by the firm is calculated by the new graduate’s billing rate times the number of hours to be worked. Their billing rate was calculated by multiplying the new hire’s salary by two and moving the decimal point over three digits. This is how is works, if a starting salary is $60K then $60,000×2 = $120,000 = $120 hourly billing rate. Using this formula, 33% of the annual salary would go to overhead, 33% would be contributed to salary expense and 33% would be profit to the firm. This calculation worked fine in the 1990’s when the economy was stable but now Clients are willing to pay the rates to cover the salary expense of new hires. Today, this discrepancy is being cushioned by reducing partner’s profits.”

Response moderated
mammal's avatar

Yep you’d be right, that is a shocking sum of money, go and represent poor people, human rights, or social justice causes whilst you still have a soul.

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