How Much Do Partners at Law Firms Make?

Are you curious about how much money partners at law firms make? Check out this blog post to learn more about the average salary for these legal professionals.

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As of 2018, the average salary for partners at law firms is $960,000 per year. However, there is a wide range of salaries, with some partners making much more and some making much less. The highest-paid partners at law firms make an average of $2.7 million per year, while the lowest-paid partners make an average of $180,000 per year.

Partners at law firms are typically compensated based on a combination of factors, including the profitability of the firm, the size of the firm, the partner’s seniority, and the partner’s specialization. In general, partners who are more senior or who have more specialized skills tend to earn higher salaries.

How much do partners at law firms make?

The answer to this question depends on many factors, including the size and location of the law firm, the type of law practiced, and the experience and seniority of the partner. That said, partners at law firms typically earn much more than associate attorneys or even non-partner lawyers working at firms.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all lawyers was $120,910 in May 2019. However, earnings vary widely by experience level and position. For example, the lowest 10 percent of earners made less than $54,180 that year, while the highest 10 percent made more than $208,000.

Partners at law firms typically fall into that highest 10 percent bracket. In fact, according to a survey of more than 2,000 law firm partners conducted by Legal Marketing Association (LMA) in 2019, the median income for equity partners was $960,000. Of course, this figure varies based on factors like location and practice area—equity partners in New York City had a median income of $1.75 million, for instance—but overall, it’s clear that partners at law firms make significantly more money than other types of lawyers.

What factors affect partner compensation?

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about law firm partner compensation. This is largely due to the fact that, in many firms, it is not transparent how much partners make. This can lead to inequities, which can be a problem for both morale and retention.

There are a number of factors that affect partner compensation. Some of these are within the control of the firm, while others are not. Here are a few of the most important factors:

-The size of the firm: In general, larger firms tend to pay higher salaries than smaller firms. This is due to economies of scale and the fact that larger firms tend to have more clients and more complex cases.

-Location: Partners in larger cities tend to make more than those in smaller cities or rural areas. This is due to the higher cost of living in major metropolitan areas.

-Practice area: Partners who practice in high-demand areas such as corporate law or patent law tend to make more than those in less popular areas such as estate planning or personal injury. This is because there is greater demand for these services and firms are willing to pay more to attract and retain top talent.

-Billable hours: Partners who bill more hours tend to make more money than those who bill fewer hours. This is because they generate more revenue for the firm. In some cases, partners may be compensated based on a percentage of their billings, so this can be a significant factor in their earnings.

-Origination credits: Many firms give credit to partners for bringing in new clients. This can be a significant source of income for partners who are able to generate business for the firm.

How do law firm profits affect partner compensation?

How do law firm profits affect partner compensation? In most cases, the answer is that the two are closely linked. The amount of money that partners at a law firm make is usually directly related to the firm’s profitability.

The important thing to remember is that law firms are businesses, and like all businesses, their ultimate goal is to make money. The partners at a law firm are the individuals who own the business, so it stands to reason that they would want the firm to be as profitable as possible. The more money the firm makes, the more money they will split among themselves.

Of course, there are other factors that can affect partner compensation, such as the size of the firm and the number of partners. But in general, profitability is the biggest determinant of how much partners at a law firm make.

How do law firm size and location affect partner compensation?

In the legal industry, law firm size and location are two of the most significant factors affecting partner compensation. Here is a breakdown of how these two variables impact earnings:

Law firm size:
The vast majority of partners (84 percent) work at law firms with more than 100 lawyers, according to the latest data from the American Bar Association. Of these partners, the median compensation is $447,000.

At firms with 50 to 99 lawyers, median partner compensation is $360,000. For firms with 10 to 49 lawyers, it drops to $255,000. Finally, at firms with fewer than 10 lawyers, median partner compensation is $206,000.

As one might expect, partners working in major metropolitan areas tend to earn more than their counterparts in smaller cities or towns. In New York City, for example, the median compensation for partners is $1.75 million. In Los Angeles, it’s $950,000; in Chicago, it’s $700,000; and in Houston, it’s $550,000.

What other factors affect partner compensation?

In addition to billable hours and client origination, law firm partners are also typically compensated based on their relative seniority within the firm, the size of their book of business, the profitability of their practice group, and their contributions to the firm’s overall growth and profitability. While the billable hour is still the primary metric by which most partners are compensated, many firms are beginning to place a greater emphasis on alternative metrics such as client satisfaction, pro bono work, and diversity initiatives.

How can partners maximize their compensation?

As a partner at a law firm, you have a lot of control over how much money you make. By taking advantage of the following strategies, you can maximize your compensation and take home more money each year.

1. Make sure you are billing enough hours. This may seem obvious, but it is important to make sure you are billing enough hours to cover your expenses and earn a profit. If you are not billing enough hours, your partners will likely not be happy with your production and may not give you as much of a share of the profits.

2. Focus on clients that generate the most revenue. While all clients are important, some clients generate more revenue than others. It is important to focus your time and energy on these clients to maximize your earnings potential.

3. Cross-sell other services to existing clients. If you can sell other services to existing clients, you will be able to generate additional revenue without having to invest much time or energy in finding new clients. This is an easy way to boost your earnings without putting in extra effort.

4. Stay up to date on industry trends. By staying up to date on industry trends, you will be able to provide valuable advice to clients and help them avoid costly mistakes. This will make them more likely to use your services in the future and recommend you to others, which can lead to more business and higher earnings for you.

5. Keep overhead costs low. One of the best ways to maximize your earnings is to keep overhead costs low without sacrificing quality or service levels. By carefully managing expenses, you can leave more money in the firm’s coffers for distribution among the partners.

By following these tips, you can maximize your compensation as a partner at a law firm. By taking advantage of all the strategies available to you, you can earn more money and further improve your financial position

What are the risks of being a partner at a law firm?

As a partner at a law firm, you will have many responsibilities and risks. You will be responsible for the financial well-being of the firm, and you may be held liable for any losses incurred by the firm. You will also be responsible for managing and mentoring the associate attorneys at the firm. In addition, you may be asked to take on pro bono cases or cases that are not profitable for the firm but are important to the community.

What are the benefits of being a partner at a law firm?

The benefits of being a partner at a law firm are many. As a partner, you will have a say in the direction of the firm, you will be able to share in the profits of the firm, and you will be able to offer your clients a higher level of service. The downside to being a partner is that you will be expected to work longer hours and be more involved in the day-to-day operations of the firm.


Partners at law firms make a lot of money. However, there is a lot of variation in how much partners at different firms make. The average partner at a large law firm makes about $1 million a year. However, some partners at large law firms make much more than this, and some make less. Partners at small law firms generally make less than partners at large law firms, but there is still a lot of variation in how much partners at different small firms make.

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