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NALFA Survey: Hourly Rate Data Distribution is Not Bell-Shaped

August 21, 2021 | Posted in : Fee / Rate Economics, Fee Data / Fee Analytics, Fees by Tiers / Scale, Hourly Billing, Hourly Rate Survey, Hourly Rates, NALFA News, Study / Report

NALFA recently released the results from our 2020 Litigation Hourly Rate Survey.  The results, published in The 2020 Litigation Hourly Rate Survey & Report, contains billing rate data on the very factors that correlate to hourly rates in litigation: geography, years of litigation experience, complexity of case, and litigation practice size.

This empirical survey and report provides macro and micro data of current hourly rate ranges for both defense and plaintiffs’ litigators, at various litigation experience levels, from large law firms to solo shops, in routine and complex litigation, and in the nation’s largest legal markets and beyond.  This is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive survey or study on hourly billing rates in litigation.

3,285 litigators fully participated in this hourly rate survey.  When we plot all (national) our hourly rate responses (plaintiffs' and defense) on a graph (x,y axis), we have a general shape distribution model known as Chi-Squared distribution.  That is, the distribution is not the classic normal bell-shaped curve.  Our model here starts from a low point ($200-$250), peaks well before the midpoint ($601-$650), then declining gradually and finishing with a long tail with an uptick at the very end (Over $1100).  It resembles a whale-shaped type distribution.  The y axis is the percentage of responses and the x axis is the hourly rate scale (Less than $200 to Over $1100).


The 2020 Litigation Hourly Rate Survey & Report is now available for purchase.  For more information on this survey, email NALFA Executive Director, Terry Jesse at terry@thenalfa.org or call us at (312) 907-7275.