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Larger Bonuses at Law Firms as Economy Continues to Recover
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Summary: As the economy continues to recover, law firms are handing out large bonuses to their associate lawyers once again. 

It seems as though associates at law firms across Chicago are experiencing the best bonus season since the recession, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

  
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The bonuses have hit $100,000 for some lawyers who have seen an increase in transactional work.

A partner from the Chicago office of BCG Attorney Search, Jamie Bailey, said that she witnessed associates receiving signing bonuses and mid-year bonuses in 2014. She said both forms of these bonuses stopped when the recession hit.

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Bonuses usually start getting distributed in December and continue a couple of months into the New Year as firms decide how to reward their associates for their billing work.

The bonus scale offered by a law firm does play a role in keeping associates in-house, but it is not the sole factor, according to Beth Woods. Woods is the managing director for the Chicago office of Major Lindsey & Africa.



Jeffrey Wagner is the chair of the associate compensation committee at McDermott Will & Emery, which is headquartered in Chicago. Wagner said that McDermott will not announce bonuses until March, but the firm would like to match the bonuses given by Davis Polk & Wardwell.

To read more about Davis Polk & Wardwell, click here.

Schiff Hardin has an office of 235 lawyers in Chicago. The firm handed out bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $90,000 this year based on hours, client service and pro bono work performed.

Jenner & Block, the seventh-largest office in Chicago, will issue bonuses in February that range from $25,000 to $30,000 for associates.

To read more about Schiff Hardin, click here.

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Image credit: Schiff Hardin

Source: Crain’s Chicago Business



 

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