The new OSB 2017 Economic Survey is available for download. In it, you’ll find a plethora of information about Oregon lawyers, including employment characteristics, compensation, billing practices, career satisfaction, and future plans. Here are a few highlights:
- 28.3% of survey respondents reported being a member of at least one other state bar.
- 86.1% reported working as an Oregon lawyer; 13.9% were not.
- Lawyers who chose to work part-time did so to maintain work/family balance, pursue other career interests, or because they were semi-retired.
- Slightly more than 60% of working Oregon lawyers reported being in private practice, with just under 20% in government positions.
- The most dominant areas of private practice are business/corporate (transactional and litigation), civil litigation (plaintiff and defense), tax/estate planning, family law, and real estate/land use/environmental.
- The most common practice size was a 1 lawyer office, followed by 3-6 lawyer offices, and 7-20 lawyer offices.
- The statewide mean compensation was $143,277.
- The amount of compensation was highest in the Portland metro area and lowest on the Oregon coast.
- The highest paying area of practice was real estate/land use/environmental.
- Statewide, female lawyers reported earning less than male lawyers.
- Peak earning years were 50-59, with compensation generally decreasing after age 60.
- Statewide, the mean hourly rate was $286, ranging from $226 to $324 regionally. (The highest reported hourly rate was $850 in Portland.)
- By area of practice, the highest hourly rate was for business/corporate – litigation, with a mean of $333. Other top billing areas were: real estate/land use/environmental, civil litigation – defendant (excluding insurance defense), and business/corporate – transactional.
- On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being very dissatisfied and 5 being very satisfied, lawyers statewide had a mean career satisfaction rate of 3.98. In general, the more years in practice, the greater a lawyer’s satisfaction with his/her career.
- By location, employment, and area of practice, the most satisfied lawyers were:
- In the Upper Willamette Valley
- Working as judges or hearing officers
- Practicing in civil litigation defense, real estate/land use/environmental, or criminal law (private bar).
- 19.2% of lawyers statewide reported they were planning or contemplating retirement.
- 6.7% were planning to leave the profession, but not retire.
- Another 10.3% were planning to reduce their practices.
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