Law firms are pulling out all the stops in hot hiring market for some lateral associates

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Law firms are offering signing bonuses and quickly extending job offers in a bid to lure corporate-transactions associates in a hot hiring market, according to a report by

One law firm seeking a recruiting edge, Goodwin Procter, is hiring associates to work remotely on a permanent basis in cities across the United States, Bloomberg Law reports.

Other firms are also offering remote work with no firm date for a return to the office, according to the story. Other strategies include making offers on the same day as an interview and offering hiring bonuses that were once used to increase diversity.

Data from Decipher, a competitive intelligence firm, shows how hiring has ratcheted up. In the 10 most active legal markets, associate moves have increased by double digits from the four-year average.

In New York, for example, associate moves in January and February increased from an average of 249 to 313 in 2021. In Los Angeles, associate moves increased from an average of 136 to 167 this year.

The increase in hiring comes amid an increase in mergers and acquisitions.

The associate hiring boom “started in the capital markets space, but now that demand has increased to M&A and finance associates and pretty much anybody that touches corporate transactions,” said Ru Bhatt, a partner in Major, Lindsey & Africa’s New York associate practice group, in an interview with

Many firms are paying special bonuses again this year in a move that may discourage some associates from leaving. The going rate is a total of $12,000 to $64,000, payable in spring and fall installments.

Above the Law is keeping track of the firms paying special bonuses this year. As of Thursday morning, more than 30 law firms were on its list.

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