Biglaw, Job Survey, Money, Reader Polls

Featured Job Survey Resuts: How Much Is Your Time Worth?

Here are the results from yesterday’s Featured Job Survey, brought to you by ATL and Lateral Link, which inquired into billing rates.
More than 700 of you responded to yesterday’s survey, not counting a few dubious entries. In case you were wondering, yes, we really do discard your response if you claim to be billing out at $25 an hour at Sullivan & Cromwell. We’re asking for your rates for legal services.
For those of you wondering what the average rate for an hour of lawyerly time is these days — and whether your firm is selling you cheap — here are the national averages based on our (admittedly unscientific) survey:
Average Hourly Rates By Class.jpg
How many associates think they’re worth more than that? Find out, after the jump.

Not surprisingly, roughly 39% of respondents believe that their fees per hour are too high. But some of the breakdowns were a bit unexpected.
Although there was much trashing discussion of Boston’s greatness in the comments to our recent bonus post on Ropes and Gray, the associates in Boston are actually the least comfortable with their rates. A whopping 71% think that their rates are too high. But we doubt this will make them more understanding if their firms don’t match New York bonuses.
In contrast, less than a quarter of associates in smaller cities (the “other” category) believe that their rates are too high, and over a third think that their rates are actually too low. Nashville to $190 per hour?
Breakdown By Location 12-14-07.jpg
Breaking the results down by class year, the most likely associates to worry that their rates are too high are actually not the first-years, but rather the Class of 2001. Perhaps associates of this seniority hear more about the billing process — and are more exposed to client complaints or pushback on bills.
Breakdown By Class 12-14-07.jpg
We’ll post the breakdowns by school and practice area next week. We know from our last survey that patent and tax attorneys are the busiest lawyers around, but does that mean they want to charge more? Post your theories in the comments.

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