The Wall Street Journal reports that law firm partners on the high end boosted their hourly rates more than those at the low end.
Blawgletter doubts that should surprise anyone. The difference between a really good lawyer and a good one resembles the difference (with apologies to Samuel Clemens) between lightning and a lightning bug.
If you can't afford top-end rates or even if you just don't like them, think about trying a risk-sharing deal — such as a flat fee, contingent fee, or bonus for good results. That will better align your interests with your dear lawyer's and just might pay off big time.