The 2022 Partner Compensation Survey is the seventh report in a series of groundbreaking, biennial surveys that began in 2010. Fielded in partnership with Law360, this year’s survey received 1,815 responses from lawyers across the United States. The 2022 Partner Compensation Survey showed that over the past two years, average partner compensation increased by 15%. Pay for U.S. law firm partners now averages $1.12 million, the highest amount ever recorded and the highest percentage increase since our 2016 survey. After law firms saw record-breaking years in 2020 and 2021, only 13% of partners reported that their 2021 compensation was affected by the pandemic. Other notable findings of the survey include:
- At $1.21 million, average compensation for male partners continues to significantly outpace that of female partners, who earned an average of $905,000 in 2021. However, women saw their compensation increase at a greater rate (26%) than men (17%) over the past two years, and the pay differential between men and women continues to narrow consistently and substantially for our respondents (from 53% in the 2018 Survey, to 44% in 2020, to now a differential of 34%).
- Corporate partners saw an average total compensation of $1.49 million in 2021, representing a 26% increase over the past two years—a trend that may not persist as corporate deal-making slows amid a potential looming economic recession.
- Smaller metro areas saw sizable compensation gains as firms and attorneys expanded their geographic footprint amid the pandemic. At 87%, Dallas partners saw the highest percentage gain in average compensation, followed by partners in Atlanta (65%) and Houston (48%).