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NALFA Releases 2020 Average Hourly Rates in Litigation

February 9, 2021 | Posted in : Fee Data / Fee Analytics, Fee Economics / Fee Market, Hourly Billing, Hourly Rate Survey, Hourly Rates, NALFA News, Study / Report

NALFA recently completed its 2020 Litigation Hourly Rate Survey.  This billing rate survey was conducted via email over the last few months.  Over 2,000 civil litigators from across the U.S. participated in this hourly rate survey.  Survey participants included litigators (plaintiff and defense) from partner to associate levels from large law firms to solo shops.  With exactly 2,465 survey participants answering 8 rate questions, we have 19,720 rate data points to analyze.

We are working on tabulating all the hourly rate data points and analyzing and comparing hourly rate data sets.  The full survey report with findings will be available for purchase soon.  This survey report will be free for survey participants, members, faculty, and fellows.  Below are the 2020 approximate average hourly rates for defense and plaintiffs in regular/routine litigation and complex litigation:


"From these national averages, we see that plaintiffs' rates are, on average, $20 an hour higher than defense rates in both regular and complex litigation.  Both plaintiffs' and defense rates rise $30 and hour, on average, from regular to complex litigation.  Also, the variance between litigation sides and litigation type only spans $50 an hour at most, on average," said Terry Jesse, Executive Director of NALFA in Chicago.