Bonus time at small US law firms: slim pickings

December 9, 2010 Above The Law has run an informal survey on the bonuses offered by small law firms, with highly variable results.

A third of respondents reported getting no performance-based bonus whatsoever. Of those that did get a bonus, 70 per cent received less than $10,000.

Above The Law chose to embrace the anecdotal nature of their results by presenting the top five most depressing statements from the respondents:
1. I got a $100 gift card — so I suppose that counts as less than $1000. And hey, I am happy for it – that’s nearly a full day’s pay!
2. I have to do everything. No bonus.
3. From what I heard through the office grapevine, all attorney bonuses, regardless of seniority, were $1000 (as was office manager and head paralegal).
4. I have not seen a bonus in the last three years, unless you count getting reimbursed for CLEs and mileage at the end of the year. Does that count?
5. No bonus since 2006 (from a lawyer who’s been practicing 10+ years).

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