Firms Look Beyond Cash To Lure Associates In Salary Race

Amid the near-daily announcements of BigLaw firms and boutiques clamoring to match the new market scale for associate salaries unveiled in June, several law firms are exploring ways to augment their offerings to young attorneys in ways that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

More than a month after Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP kicked off a new race to bump associate compensation, announcements of pay hikes have continued to trickle in. But other firms are getting creative about perks they can provide in addition to — or instead of — salaries and bonuses that keep pace with BigLaw benchmarks, including new career development and continuing education initiatives and perks aimed at improving attorney health and work-life balance.

"I think the associates are savvier than they ever been," Jeff Lowe, global practice leader of Major Lindsey & Africa LLC's law firm practice group, said in a recent interview. "I think they have tons more information at their fingertips than we ever had when I came out of law school. They're looking for different things; they're not looking for the last dollar."

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