Most of the offers I’ve seen in the fourth quarter did not contain signing bonuses. They were common in 2021 and they will be largely absent in 2023. I think it’s only for associates and partners who live in rarified air, as opposed to anyone with a functional knowledge of a practice area.
— Kate Reder Sheikh, a Bay Area associate recruiter with Major Lindsey & Africa, in comments given to the American Lawyer on the disappearance of Biglaw signing bonuses for virtually any and all lawyers making lateral moves in recent months. Sheikh went on to explain that while the bar for hiring “is back up” now compared to the talent war of 2021, “there will be incentives to make big moves and that exists at the associate and the partner level” when it comes to “really talented lawyers.”
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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