Top law firms are offering $164K bonuses, extra vacation, and meeting-free days in an effort to retain workers and prevent burnout

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Law firms have offered lawyers new perks to retain them. Getty Images
  • Law firms could offer up to $164,000 in bonuses to senior associates, Bloomberg reported.
  • Some firms have offered meeting-free days, extra vacation, and more flexibility to lawyers.
  • Firms have struggled to hire enough new talent in a tight labor market and amid a surge in demand.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Law firms have offered $164,000 bonuses, extra vacation, and more flexibility to their lawyers in an effort to retain top talent and prevent burnout, Bloomberg reported.

Some senior associates could receive bonuses as much as $164,000 by the end of 2021 on top of their base salary, up from $140,000 in 2020, according to data from Biglaw Investor.

The industry has experienced a boom in demand this year. Some lawyers have put in 100-hour work weeks amid a surge in company restructures and SPAC deals. Many firms have offered associates retention bonuses split across the year to incentivize them to stay, according to Bloomberg.

But firms have also offered a number of non-financial perks, including meeting-free days and greater flexibility to work from home, Bloomberg said.

Global law firm DLA Piper has given its lawyers a “one-week thank you,” which they can take either as vacation or as an extra week’s pay.

“The extra week’s pay or holiday is just one small way of us saying thank you to them for everything they have achieved in such a challenging year,” Simon Levine, global co-CEO, said in an emailed statement to Insider.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has also introduced “Unplug Time,” allowing its employees to take an extra 40 hours of vacation per year.

“We know recovery is essential to sustaining top performance. So we decided to make sure it was really possible to take at least one fully unplugged vacation a year,” Orrick told Insider in an emailed statement.

Many firms have struggled to hire enough junior staff to meet demand. Kirkland & Ellis has offered junior lawyers sign-on bonuses up to $250,000, Insider previously reported.

DLA Piper and Kirkland did not immediately respond to comment.