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

legal 1
Law firms have offered lawyers new perks to retain them.

  • 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.

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Facebook’s top execs took home hefty bonuses in the second half of 2020, partially as a reward for the company’s ‘election integrity efforts’

Mark Zuckerberg at Georgetown University
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook executives got 110% bonuses in the second half of 2020, according to a new SEC filing.
  • The bonuses were partially tied to Facebook’s “election integrity” efforts.
  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t participate in the employee bonus program.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s two lieutenants got a big pay day for their work around last year’s election: COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehner got just shy of $1 million in bonus compensation for the second half of 2020.

Those bonuses, awarded at 110%, were at least partially tied to “election integrity efforts in connection with the U.S. 2020 elections,” according to an SEC filing from the company first spotted by The Information.

Ahead of the November 2020 elections, Facebook rolled out a number of measures intended to curb misinformation and promote voting.

The company added labels to all posts about voting that came from federal elected officials and candidates, it paused political ad buying for months, and opened an information center intended to inform users about voting laws. Those efforts were apparently considered a success if the bonus payouts are any indication.

Read more: Some Lululemon retail employees say there is an environment of ‘toxic positivity,’ where workers feel pressure to share personal information with managers and constant feedback can feel like bullying

In the years following the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook struggled with how to moderate speech and advertising from politicians and political campaigns.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has remained steadfast in his argument that political advertising is equivalent to political speech, and that political speech shouldn’t be moderated by the social media giant.

“In a democracy it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying so they can make their own judgments,” Zuckerberg said in a late 2019 interview with CBS This Morning cohost Gayle King. “I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news.”

Following the 2020 US election, as former President Donald Trump repeatedly insisted that the election had been “stolen” and Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building, Facebook took the unprecedented step of outright banning Trump from its platforms.

“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Zuckerberg said in January. “The risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”

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