Major, Lindsey & Africa, the world’s largest legal search firm, today released the results of its fourth biennial Partner Compensation Survey, revealing that both equity and non-equity partners posted significant gains in compensation compared to 2014. The Survey was fielded in conjunction with ALM Legal Intelligence (ALI). Based on the responses of more than 2,100 law firm partners in the U.S., the average compensation for law firm partners hit $877,000, up 22% from the 2014 survey, with median compensation climbing to $575,000, a 21% increase.
Although there were large increases in compensation overall, the data continued to show stark differences in compensation between male and female partners. Male partners earn, on average, 44% more than their female counterparts. Average compensation for male partners is $949,000 (up 22% from 2014), while female partners earn $659,000 on average (up 24% from 2014). This 44% gap is slightly lower than the 47% differential reported in 2014.
“After seeing much more modest increases in compensation following the Great Recession, the results from 2016 demonstrate that BigLaw is resilient,” said Jeffrey Lowe, Global Practice Leader of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Law Firm Practice and the study’s author. “However, notwithstanding these strong results, the effects of the Great Recession will continue to be felt for a long time. It was a watershed event that has forever changed the course of BigLaw.”