Lawyer Income Reports: How Much Can Solo Practitioners and Small Law Firm Attorneys Make?
By Albatross Editorial Team
Maintaining a tight grasp on earning expectations is essential for solo practitioners and small law firms. Within the legal space, there’s a lot of coverage on large law firm earnings and salary reports; But, what should reel in more attention is what earnings and compensation can be expected with solo practitioners and small law firms. Why? According to Clio’s 2018 Solo & Small Firm Compensation Survey Report, law firms with fewer than twenty lawyers account for ninety-five percent of law firms.
To get a better picture of what income trends lawyers in the small law firm sector can expect with earnings on average, we combed through expert reports. Below, we’ll review the following:
Average earnings overall
Average hourly rates overall
Average earnings according to law practice type
Attorney Average Earnings and Hourly Rates by State (All Firm Sizes)
With costs of living and legal demands varying from state to state, gathering perspective on average earnings can be crucial to financial decisions solo practitioners and small law firms make. Below, we’ve compiled average hourly rates and average lawyer salaries by state for reference.
The graph below represents average salaries earned by solo practitioners both nationally and across different practice areas. This can provide essential insight into what salaries lawyers can expect on average.
The graphs below represent average salaries earned by small law firms ,both nationally and across different practice areas, and are separated by number of attorneys employed. This can provide essential insight into what salaries lawyers can expect on average, with marked differences showing between law firms of different sizes.
Average Earnings Small Law Firms with 2-5 Attorneys
Average Earnings Small Law Firms with 26-50 Attorneys
Average Earnings (2018)
Percentage of Attorneys Who Earned This
$0 - $50,000
$50,000 - $74,900
$75,000 - $99,900
$100,000 - $149,000
$150,000 - $249,000
$250,000 - $499,000
$500,000 and higher
(Source: Clio 2018 Solo & Small Firm Compensation Survey Report)
Earnings by Law Practice Type (All Firm Sizes)
These days, most law firms tend to gravitate towards picking a legal specialty instead of offering a broad spectrum of general legal services. As a solo practitioner or small law firm, it’s important to have insight into what types of earnings are seen on average depending on practice type; This can also help with projections.