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BRINGING BACK BONUSES: Seven in 10 Employers in Legal Field Planning Bonuses and Raises, Robert Half Legal Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As business conditions improve and the employment market rebounds, compensation is re-emerging as a crucial retention strategy for many employers in the legal field, a new Robert Half Legal survey indicates. Seventy percent 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.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 200 lawyers at the largest law firms and corporations in the United States.

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








Don't know/no answer               






"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."  

Volkert offers these additional tips for retaining valued staff:

  • Promote professional learning. By emphasizing training, organizations demonstrate they support the long-term success of their staff. Cost-effective ideas include supporting mentor relationships and online classes.
  • Provide well-defined career paths. Challenging assignments enhance employee job satisfaction and also serve to identify future leaders. Consider how tasks might be reassigned to advance someone's career goals.
  • Emphasize your firm's culture. Remind employees about those aspects of your work environment that are hard to find elsewhere.
  • Publicly praise contributions. Appreciation and recognition can go a long way to foster loyalty. Publicly acknowledge individual and team successes to let employees know their efforts are appreciated.


About Robert Half Legal


Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Legal offers online job search services at

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: Lisa Hamilton of Robert Half Legal, +1-650-234-6234,