When Indiana Lawyer launched in 1990 ...

January 14, 2015

When Indiana Lawyer launched in 1990 …

• An estimated 14,300 attorneys were practicing in Indiana. Annual registration fees were $115. (Source: Indiana Supreme Court)

• The average annual in-state cost of tuition at a public law school was $3,236 and $11,728 at a private law school. (Source: American Bar Association)

• The median reported salary for lawyers working full time was $38,000. Those who were in private practice had a mean salary of $50,000; government jobs paid $28,000 and public interest jobs earned $26,000. (Source: NALP)

• Thirty-nine percent of respondents to an Indianapolis Bar Association survey of members said they charged between $75 and $99 per hour; 24 percent said they charged between $100 and $119 per hour; approximately 11 percent charged more than $150 an hour, and just 1.5 percent charged less than $50 per hour. An Indiana Lawyer article on the survey doesn’t account for how much the other 24.5 percent charged. According to the survey responses, the average attorney worked approximately 47 hours a week – with 32 of those as billable hours – and took home $50,000 a year.

• The median billable hour rate for partners and shareholders was $150, Altman Weil reported in its 1990 Survey of Law Firm Economics. Partners and shareholders billed a median of 1,706 hours. Associates reported a median of 1,820 hours. The survey collected data from 674 U.S. law firms with more than 16,000 attorneys.

• Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John G. Baker had been on the appeals court for nearly a year. He is the only current non-senior judge who remains on that court since 1990.

1990 tech

If you were practicing law in 1990, there’s a good chance you …

• used floppy discs to store your important files.

• faxed documents to people who needed them right away.

• placed a phone call on a cellular phone that weighed one pound – or more – depending on how old it was.

• watched legal TV shows like “L.A. Law,” “Law & Order” and “Matlock.”


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