2016 Legal Trends Report

Legal intelligence—for all of us

What’s in the report?

In the 4,000-year history of the legal profession, unbiased information sharing has never been the norm. Instead, insights have remained siloed in large institutions—or traded anecdotally among groups at networking events.

It’s been near impossible to answer questions like: “Where should I open my law firm?” “How much should a lawyer charge?” and “Am I using my time properly?”

Until now.

Drawing on actual usage data from over 40,000 attorneys across the U.S., Clio has launched the first legal benchmarking report that outlines key industry metrics for billing rates, hours billed, fee structures, and more—with detailed analyses for specific states, practice areas, and seasonality.

  • Legal Trends Report 2016 - Where do lawyers earn the most?

    Where do lawyers earn the most?

    It may not be any surprise that lawyers have the highest hourly billing rates in the District of Columbia, New York, and California … but what about other states? And, when adjusted for cost of living, does an attorney in New York have the same purchasing power as one in Iowa?

    If you’re planning on opening or relocating a law firm, these are crucial questions. The Legal Trends Report maps the average billing rate across the contiguous U.S., and compares against the Consumer Price Index to determine, for the first time, the real billing rate for each state—helping lawyers determine where they get the most bang for their billable hour.

    Maximize Your Earnings

What practice area should you choose?

Whether you’re eyeing a specific practice area for a new firm, or looking to expand your offerings at an existing one, you need a data-driven legal business plan. The Legal Trends Report aggregates billing rates and fee structures from across 18 practice areas to help you benchmark your legal rates and adjust accordingly.

By analyzing, aggregating, and anonymizing practice area rates and billing structures from thousands of law firms across the country, the Legal Trends Report removes self-reporting biases—giving attorneys more accurate insight.


  • How are lawyers REALLY using their time?

    Today’s legal entrepreneurs must divide their time across a number of disciplines, including law firm administration, legal marketing, and bookkeeping—meaning they have less time to focus on billable activities. Just how many hours of unbilled time are lawyers leaving on the table each day?

    The Legal Trends Report assesses the utilization, realization, and collection rates across 40,000 Clio users, providing shocking insight into how many billable hours the modern attorney is actually getting paid for—and identifying opportunities for you to add more.

    Boost Your Productivity

How does seasonality affect different practice areas?

Each year, more than 1.5 million matters are opened in Clio, providing unparallelled visibility into the seasonality surrounding law firm business. It’s a no-brainer that tax lawyers see the bulk of their business in March, but do more divorces really happen after the holidays? And what’s the worst month to be a personal injury attorney?

The Legal Trends Report, for the first time, addresses questions around practice area seasonality—allowing you to plan for forthcoming booms, as well as foreseeable slow periods.


Stop trusting your gut—start trusting the data

Get your free copy of the 2016 Legal Trends Report now:

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Legal Trends Report published by Clio

The Legal Trends Report provides information on the most important issues faced within the legal profession. By analyzing aggregated and anonymized data from tens of thousands of legal professionals in the US, supported by extensive survey research, the report offers unique insights into law firm efficiencies, hourly rates, and other key metrics for success.