Legal Billing Rates – From $1,500 to $0 an Hour

The reports of near $1,500/hr. billable rates at large law firms have been swirling as of late as the ABA Journal reports:

“Despite efforts by corporate clients to curtail legal expenses over the past decade, rates have risen steadily at many of the nation’s BigLaw firms.  Although a billable rate of $1,000 per hour was newsworthy only five years ago, top partners at the nation’s biggest and best-known corporate law firms are now billing at rates nudging $1,500 per hour…”

Read on at “Top partner billing rates at BigLaw firms nudge $1,500 per hour” at the ABA Journal. At the risk of inviting comments that we’re not making “apples to oranges” comparisons, consider another attorney, Jane Fulton, in Orange County, California, who charges the exorbitant rate of $0/hr. as profiled in the LA Times:

“Since 2014, Fulton, with the pro bono help of a few other lawyers, has provided free legal advice to clients embroiled in civil matters including child custody, divorce, bankruptcy, wills and trust, and landlord-tenant disputes.  With seed money, Fulton established Seaside Legal Services in a Laguna Beach office she has occupied since 1979. Fulton declined to give the donor’s name or the amount of the start-up money, but said the Kling Family Foundation agreed on a yearly financial donation to keep the nonprofit going. The Tustin-based foundation specializes in private grants.  Fulton, who operated a private practice and represented clients for the Los Angeles County public defender’s office, focusing primarily on family law, considers the startup her “third act.”

Read on at “This lawyer charges $0 an hour” at the LA Times.

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