The legal industry is an incredibly important one as it is responsible for ensuring that the rights of all individuals and corporations are properly represented. For those that are employed in the field, it can also be a very lucrative career if they are able to get a job with the top law firms. According to a recent news article (https://abovethelaw.com/2017/12/elite-california-firm-offers-market-busting-bonuses-to-associates/), and now appears that the compensation structure for lawyers could be increasing dramatically in the coming year.
For the bigger law firms, one of the bigger challenges that they have is trying to compete with other law firms in the industry to attract the top talent. When looking to get talent from the top lock schools across the country, one of the best things that they can do is try to offer them more compensation. In order to attract more talent, many of the top law firms are now offering higher bonus structures to their potential associates.
According to a recent study many of the law firms are now offering a bigger bonus than ever before. For a first-year associate, the regular starting bonus is as much as $15,000. By the time the associate is in their fifth year, the annual bonus could reach as high as $80,000. Furthermore, bonuses continue to increase each year and could reach well over $100,000 by the time the associate is in their eighth year.
Beyond providing the base bonus, all associates will also have the opportunity to work for higher bonuses as well. If they have a good year, which is often defined by the amount of hours that they are able to bill, they could end up increasing their total bonus by more than 20%. This could then lead to a total bonus structure in excess of $150,000 for more experienced associates. While not all firms have incorporated this new structure yet, it is likely to continue to grow in popularity as firms continue to try and compete for top talent.