FROM THE EDITOR
A Publication of the State Bar of Arizona
LISA BORMASTER FON TES
MIK YEILA CORDERO
DAVID H. BEN TON, CHAIR
YUSRA B. BOKHARI
HON. THEODORE CAMPAGNOLO
PAUL F. DOWDELL
GREGOR Y GAU TAM
HON. RANDALL M. HOWE
COLLEEN M. JOHNSON
KARA L. KLIMA
JOSE V. LUJAN
TERRIE S. RENDLER
K YLE SHELTON
MICHAEL F. VALENZUELA
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VOLUME 53, NO. 4
We thought we understood the way the world
worked—and then the Cubs won the World Series.
I suppose it’s good we’re still capable of being surprised. It probably says something nice about our capacity for joy. Or something.
Of course, surprises are not always happy, which occurred to me as I
read a new report on law practice trends.
Via their “Legal Trends Report,” the people at Clio—the cloud-based practice management people—want you to know two things about
your law practice.
First, your practice is a funnel—one that may be malfunctioning.
And second, consider
using data—actual facts
based in reality—to drive
your practice decisions.
Clio will likely say I’m
oversimplifying a vast array
of takeaways from the report
released in late October. But
those takeaways—and the
underlying facts—are pretty
Here is a link to the
complete report: https://
Read it yourself and let me
know what you think.
And here are two
insights compiled by Clio:
• The average rate billed by lawyers across the United States is $232
• The total utilization rate (billable hours as a proportion of hours
available in a working day) for lawyers in 2015 was just 28 percent.
For solo lawyers, that number drops to just 22 percent.
What makes this noteworthy?
First—and maybe less interesting to you—is the newfound power
of data to provide insight. I’ll write more about this in the future
(probably in my blog https://azatty.wordpress.com/), but
it’s incredible that via our own real-time software choices,
companies like Clio can assess the state of law practice—all
They can see, moment by moment, how many new matters
are opened, how many invoices are generated, how many
Does this spell the end of surveys based on self-reported
data We’ll see.
The second takeaway is related to the unprofitability of
many attorneys’ law practices. When we look at just two of
Clio’s many charts—Arizona’s average hourly rate, and its
(gulp) average collection rate, the situation appears dire.
There’s definitely more to the picture. But as we head into
2017, we will seek ways to tell the true story of law practice
Until then: Go Cubs.
Law practice + data
Hourly Rate by State
Geo-tagged data allows us to report on the Billable Hour Index at the state level
Collection Rate by State
Collection rates appear fairly consistent across each state.