Law Firms

Susman Godfrey litigation boutique will pay a $25K signing bonus to new lawyers

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Lawyers who accept a job at Susman Godfrey have something new to entice them: a $25,000 signing bonus.

The offer applies to lawyers who already accepted fall job offers as well as future new lawyers at the boutique firm, Texas Lawyer (sub. req.) reports. A press release is here.

Because the law firm pays clerkship bonuses—and only hires lawyers who have clerked for federal judges—new lawyers could join the firm with $125,000 in their pockets, or more if they had a Supreme Court clerkship.

The law firm pays $80,000 to new associates who clerked for one federal judge; $100,000 to associates who clerked for two federal judges, and “leads the market on bonuses paid to Supreme Court law clerks,” the press release says.

Hiring partner Erica Harris told Texas Lawyer that the firm decided to pay the signing bonuses because it wants the best candidates “and we thought this would be a differentiator.” Asked about the $25,000 figure, Harris said “there was no science to it,” but the firm wanted to pay an amount that “would be meaningful to someone trying to decide among offers.”

Houston-based Susman Godfrey is a litigation boutique known for its aggressive antitrust practice and big year-end bonuses.

Adam Weiss, a principal with the Lateral Lawyer Group, said he hasn’t heard about law firms paying signing bonuses for a long time. “This must reflect that there is a tight competition in the market for the best students coming out of law schools,” he told Texas Lawyer.

“Is this a blip or does it augur a change?” he wondered.

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