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Lawyers Get $164,000 Bonuses to Keep Working 100 Hours a Week

Firms offer multiple annual bonuses and extra time off as they fight to retain talent and workers face pandemic burnout.

Justice and law concept. Gavel on sounding block in hand's Male judge at a courtroom, working with document law books, report the case on table in modern office.

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It was just supposed to be an “appreciation bonus,” not start a wage war.

In September 2020, Cooley LLP, a Palo Alto-based law firm, announced it was handing out $2,500 to $7,500 in one-time payments to associates. The bonuses came as the firm — along with many others in the legal industry — realized it was both flush with cash and facing worker burnout during the pandemic.