💵 Somehow law salaries are getting even higher

When we last shared stories about law firm pay here, industry leaders Davis Polk and Milbank were raising annual salaries to associates by anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000.

Things are still heading up. 

  • Retention bonuses are the new craze: According to the Financial Times, Kirkland & Ellis has been offering $250,000 to mid-career employees who have job offers on the table. Some new attorneys at Kirkland & Ellis have been offered the same amount to jump ship from their previous firm. In the past, plenty of firms didn’t offer signing bonuses, or at least not that high. 

  • It even pays to refer a new lawyer: The FT reports Paul Hastings and Goodwin Procter will give their attorneys $30,000 to $50,000 for recommending a new associate who gets hired. On top of that, firms are now giving out spring bonuses in addition to Christmas bonuses. 

The legal world is just too busy

M&A activity is at a new high, plus last year’s legal backlog is coming to the fore. Add to that the new empowerment of lawyers who had been working from home, and you get the crazy environment we’re in. 

The Verdict

It’s never been better to be an early or mid-career lawyer, at least financially. Said one recruiter to the FT: “Associates can pretty much ask for what they want.”