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New Study from Major, Lindsey & Africa Shows Major Gains in Compensation for U.S. Law Firm Partners

Partner compensation is dependent on a number of variables, including revenue generation, lateral status, tenure and geographic location. While these differences all weigh into the individual compensation of each law firm partner, generally both equity and non-equity partners across the United States have seen significant gains in compensation since 2014, according to Major, Lindsey & Africa’s 2016 Partner Compensation Survey. The Survey, based on the responses of more than 2,100 law firm partners in the United States, showed their average compensation hitting $877,000, an increase of 22% since the firm’s 2014 Survey.

The data continued to show stark differences in compensation based on a wide range of variables:

  • A significant gap in compensation between male and female partners still exists: Male partners earn, on average, 44% more than their female counterparts. (Not coincidentally, originations by male partners were 48% higher than female partners’.)
  • Depending upon the partner’s geographic location, the average compensation ranged from a low of $564,000 in Seattle to a high of $1,433,000 in Silicon Valley, a difference of more than 150%.
  • Compensation of equity partners was nearly triple that of non-equity partners, while their originations were nearly quadruple.

The 2016 Survey went beyond the numbers on the paycheck, measuring for the first time respondents’ satisfaction with their professional lives and their work as attorneys, as well as partners’ capital contributions, draws, bonus pools and their firms pension and retirement options.

To access the full results, download the complete Major, Lindsey & Africa Partner Compensation Survey here.

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