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Biglaw Firms In Search Of Attorney Talent Are Now Offering Up Referral Bonuses

November 11, 2021

Above the Law
By Staci Zaretsky

How much money is your firm willing to offer current lawyers for their referrals?

We know the Biglaw lateral market is on fire right now — firms do too. They know that if their associates are unhappy in even the slightest of ways, that they’ll be welcomed with open arms (and big, fat signing bonuses) at a new firm at exponential speed. That’s why Biglaw firms are throwing money at associates in every way imaginable, ranging from raises to special bonuses to retention bonuses and now referral bonuses.

That’s right, in their endless search for talent, referral bonuses are now trending once again at firms of all sizes across the country. Know someone at another firm who you think would fit in at your current firm? Great! You get a referral bonus. Lateraling to another firm and think some of your colleagues would like to join you? Super! You get a referral bonus too.

The American Lawyer has some additional details on this trend:

[Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads managing partner Steven] Pachman said midsize and large firms around the country are using such incentives to save money on headhunters and recruit lateral groups with preexisting rapport. As his firm’s trustee for the U.S. Law Firm Group, a consortium of 17 firms sharing best practices, Pachman said he learned at the group’s fourth-quarter meeting this year that the majority of member firms employ referral bonuses.

“This is one of the hottest lateral markets that I’ve seen in years, maybe the hottest lateral market since I’ve been an attorney,” Pachman said. “Montgomery McCracken is totally committed to investing in top talent across the board, at the partner and associate level.”

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To read the full article, click here.