Armanino Press Release
Press Release

Law Firms Facing Competitive Landscape Get the Edge with Armanino’s Annual Compensation Survey

December 18, 2019

SAN RAMON, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2019) – Armanino LLP, one of the 25 largest accounting and business consulting firms in the U.S., today announced the release of its annual Law Firm Compensation, Billing Rates, and Benefits Survey highlighting key trends and industry impacts to provide strategic and actionable business intelligence in a highly competitive landscape.

The findings of the survey outlined concerns of driving and managing firm growth, business development and succession planning, as competition increases and baby boomers leave the industry. Additional trends include rate increases for most practices across the state, indicating clients are willing to accept rising costs, whereas equity partner compensation has remained relatively flat. Considering this, survey respondents report being more likely to utilize more part-time or contract lawyers in the future.

The 2019 Law Firm Compensation, Billing Rates, and Benefits Survey provides the business intelligence advantage by identifying key information for law firms to remain relevant and prepare for the future market.

“This means that law firms need to get smart about their business strategy and apply the right tools to give them a leg up,” said David Roberts, Armanino partner-in-charge of Law Firms Services. “The annual Law Firm Compensation, Billing Rates, and Benefits Survey is a BI tool that helps law firms properly price their services for clients, set salary and benefits to attract and retain the best talent and get a true understanding of market trends on everything from office overhead to equity partner compensation.”

The survey informs law firms with industry-wide data, and Armanino offers Advanced Law Firm Analytics (ALFA) for law firms interested in driving value through actionable information gleaned from their practice management and accounting systems. ALFA uses key performance indicators on a variety of data points from billable hours and collected hours to cost per attorney and attorney profitability, and much more. This 360-degree analysis provides insights for law firms to apply best practices in order to thrive and grow in an increasingly competitive industry.

Additional trends important for law firms’ leaders to consider identified in the survey include:

  • After a 16% increase in 2018, average associate total compensation has plateaued in 2019. While growth was led by big law firms that adjusted starting salaries for first year associates to $190,000, the market has now stabilized.
  • While compensation levels can vary significantly based on practice areas, Bay Area law firms are paying associates 20% higher than their Los Angeles counterparts. This can partially be attributed to being able to charge an average of 15% higher in billing rates in the Northern California marketplace.

Learn more about Armanino’s Law Firms practice.

December 18, 2019

About ArmaninoLLP

Armanino LLP ( is one of the 25 largest independent accounting and business consulting firms in the nation. Armanino provides an integrated set of audit, tax, business management, consulting and technology solutions to companies in the U.S. and globally. The firm helps clients adapt and change in every stage of business, from startup through rapid growth to the sale of a company. Armanino emphasizes smart technology, leading a cloud revolution of financial, operational, sales and compliance tools that are transforming the way companies do business. Armanino is an independent member firm of Moore North America Inc. (MNA), which is itself a regional member of Moore Global Network Limited (MGNL), one of the world's major accounting and consulting membership organizations. All the firms associated with MNA and MGNL are independent entities, owned and managed in each location. Their membership in, or association with, MNA or MGNL should not be construed as constituting or implying any partnership between them. In addition to its core consulting and accounting practices, Armanino operates its division, AMF Media Group (, a media and communications services agency. Its affiliate, Intersect Capital ( is an independent financial planning, wealth and lifestyle management firm.

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