A growing body of legal research suggests that lawyers who practice outside the law pay more than their counterparts who are employed in the industry, according to a new study by the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The findings were published online Wednesday by the Journal of Hospital Finance.
Researchers surveyed more than 400 practicing lawyers, who were paid $140,000 a year to work for the Chicago firm of Bock and Day in 2014.
They were asked how much they were paid and how much was covered by health insurance, which includes benefits such as copays and deductibles.
The average lawyer in the study earned $140 an hour.
That’s up from $120 an hour in 2014, when the firm was formed, the study found.
But the increase was small.
Just $5,000 was added to the total of compensation.
In a second study, published last year, the same researchers surveyed about 400 lawyers at two dozen major law firms and found that in 2013 and 2014, the average hourly rate of pay at the law firms they work for was $110.
The increase in salary was about 2 percent to 3 percent, the researchers found.
The study comes at a time when some law firms are offering lawyers a higher rate of compensation to attract them to their firms.
In the past year, for instance, the law firm of Paul, Weiss and Ellis has offered a $200 bonus to each of its lawyers for each of the past three years.
A lawyer who has worked at the firm for seven years can earn up to $1 million a year.
The compensation for those lawyers at the two major firms, including those at the Chicago law firm, was $175,000, according the study.
The new study is not the first to find an increase in salaries for lawyers who work outside the industry.
A 2012 study found that lawyers were paying less than their peers who worked in the public sector.
A 2011 study by Harvard economist Mark Zandi found that law firms were paying lawyers significantly less than they were in 2010.
The wage gap was about $15,000.
But researchers found no evidence of a wage gap at the New York City firm of Boies Schiller Flexner & Schiller LLP, which has offices in Manhattan, New York, and New Jersey.
Zandi and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 3,300 lawyers at eight major law schools and found there were no wage differences between lawyers who were employed at the firms they worked for and those who were not.
He and his team found that at the six firms, the salaries paid to lawyers working at least half-time were similar to the wages paid to their peers.
And at all firms, their compensation was not affected by their work schedule or workload.
The researchers said that there was little evidence that law firm pay scales are set by employers.
“The evidence suggests that firms do not set their compensation scales based on salary, or the hours of work, or even the size of the firm,” Zandi said in a statement.
The research was done in partnership with the National Center for Health Statistics.
In 2014, there were 7,723 lawyers who worked full-time, according with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of full- and part-time lawyers increased by 3 percent over the past five years, from 1,829,933 to 1,906,611, according a separate analysis by the Center for Data Analysis at the University at Albany.
The U.K. and the U,S.
paid lawyers the same hourly rate for full- time work as the U., and the median hourly rate was $11.19.
But at firms with more than 50 lawyers, hourly compensation increased by 6 percent, from $14.20 to $14,59.10, according data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
A firm with fewer than 50 attorneys was ranked second, at $15.90.
In 2015, the Bureau said there were 5,926,000 full-timers, but the median annual salary was $23,800.
In 2018, the bureau said, there are 3,842,000 lawyers who are paid full- or part- time.
In 2019, the BLS said it expects the number of lawyers working full-, part- or hourly to grow to 5,000-5,100,000 by 2022.
Law firms with fewer lawyers paid the median $11,865 in 2019.
The survey of more than 2,000 practicing lawyers found that about 70 percent of lawyers at large firms in 2014 and 2015 said they were not paid enough to cover the cost of their health care insurance, or were paying it on a sliding scale.
The median hourly pay for full time workers at large law firms in 2017 was $25.10.
The largest pay increase was in private practice, which increased by 7 percent, to $34.20.
The pay at private practice was the lowest of the three groups of professions studied.