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May 19, 2011
70% of Employers in Legal Field Planning Bonuses, Raises

Compensation is reemerging as a crucial retention strategy for many employers in the legal field as business conditions improve and the employment market rebounds,, a new Robert Half Legal survey indicates.

The survey shows that 70% of lawyers polled said their law firms or corporate legal departments plan to award their associates pay raises and bonuses, while 15 percent said that no additional compensation would be given.

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Lawyers were asked, "Does your law firm/corporate legal department plan to offer its associates raises and/or bonuses this year?" Their responses:

  • Yes 70%
  • No 15%
  • Don't know/no answer 15%

"After several years of staff reductions and salary freezes, employees who don't feel rewarded sufficiently may be considering other job opportunities," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "To avoid losing top talent, employers in the legal field increasingly are bolstering employee retention programs, including offering raises and bonuses."

"The costs associated with recruiting and training new legal team members often outweigh compensation-related expenses for existing staff," Volkert added. "Firms with leaner budgets might offer non-monetary incentives, such as additional time off, flexible scheduling or telecommuting, as a way to improve employee satisfaction and reward hard work while also helping their organization's bottom line."

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