Debra Cassens Weiss, in two posts of December 17, 2012 in the ABA Journal, shares two interesting year end developments.
First, The National Law Journal year-end survey is out and shows that $1,285/hour is the highest billing rate for a real estate investment trust partner in a Dallas firm. The lowest rate for an associate is $130/hour at a Cincinnati firm. Based on its survey of 55 of the nation’s largest firms, the median hourly rate is $425 versus $420 last year for attorneys across the board among the firms being surveyed. The median billing rate for partners was $501, and $317 for associates.
Second, recent statistics may bear out some predictions that law schools in general may be in a “free fall.” As of December 7, 2012, applicants for Fall 2013 first-year classes were down 22.4% from the prior year and applications were down 24.6%. One law professor predicts fiscal calamity for some of the law schools, even top tier schools.