BigLaw bonuses won't make you happy
This article points out that the big law model requires a high level of attrition, and maximum profit is achieved if a good number of associates leave after three or four years.
In this context, it is easy to see that bonuses are not designed to encourage long term loyalty (let alone contentment, satisfaction or actual happiness). Instead, they are calculated to provide the minimum reward necessary to keep associates around for three or four years.
As the article points out: ‘If bonuses were meant to improve associate satisfaction, you’d see a lot more firms actually paying for performance’. This is contrasted with the situation of in-house lawyers, where long term employment prospects encourage performance-based rewards.
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