Signing Bonuses

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:51 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
bigben wrote:My firm gives a signing bonus aka bar stipend. Pretty sure most firms do this.


I've never heard anyone refer to the bar stipend as a signing bonus, but I guess if you want to go there, sure.

And no, the bar stipend isn't an advance.

However, people in the know will do a PILI fellowship anyway. $30k for the summer instead of $10k, you work 200 hours. $100 an hour - actually better money than you'll be making per hour once you start.

PILI Fellows generally work five part-time weeks while studying for the bar exam (mornings at the agency, afternoons at the review course), and five full-time weeks after the exam. Most Fellows take a break of two weeks immediately before the exam for undivided study. Variations in this schedule can be arranged as long as the agency and the law firm agree (for example, Fellows sometimes put in two full-time weeks of work before the summer bar review course begins). Fellows usually have time for a vacation at the end of their Fellowships and before their firms’ start date. PILI Fellowships require 300 hours of work.


My firm offers to pay for a PILI fellowship if we want to do it. I am leaning towards yes, but I am wondering if it is manageable while studying for the bar...If you had the option, would you go for it? I am already getting a signing bonus dispensed at beg. of summer, but I would def. feel more at ease about making ends meet.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:03 pm

Sorry to tag along to above anon's bump of this thread, but I have a related question that doesn't deserve its own thread:

Do any firms that give salary advances instead of stipends not give a stub bonus? I seem to remember being directed to some (I think possibly outdated) chart on ATL indicating something to that effect. And I remember asking in a thread here about stub bonuses, and I think someone indicated that at least in NY they tended to be unusual, at least ITE? True? Or maybe that will change given that Cravath just provided them again?

Edit: This is the ATL article. Indicates my firm pays a stub, but I imagine some things might have changed since 2008?

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:19 pm

I don't work in biglaw as the term is used here, more midlaw? (200+ attorneys, mid-west firm). Anyways, I got a bonus after graduating in addition to being reimbursed for bar review expenses, so that happens. It was nice to have the cash over the summer so I could focus on studying, not worry about eating or needing to take out a bar loan.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to tag along to above anon's bump of this thread, but I have a related question that doesn't deserve its own thread:

Do any firms that give salary advances instead of stipends not give a stub bonus? I seem to remember being directed to some (I think possibly outdated) chart on ATL indicating something to that effect. And I remember asking in a thread here about stub bonuses, and I think someone indicated that at least in NY they tended to be unusual, at least ITE? True? Or maybe that will change given that Cravath just provided them again?

Edit: This is the ATL article. Indicates my firm pays a stub, but I imagine some things might have changed since 2008?


Yes. It varies firm to firm and year to year, things aren't all that standard.

The two general models are (1) Large bar stipend, no salary advance, no reimbursement for bar expenses, no stub bonus and (2) Salary advance, reimbursement for bar expenses, stub bonus, no bar stipend. But you see all kinds of variation in-between those.

At big NYC firms it's often: 7,500-10,000 salary advance, bar related + moving expenses fully reimbursed or paid for in advance, and a reimbursement for some or all of an apartment broker's fee (at least if coming from out of state) then a pro-rated stub bonus (which obviously varies tremendously year to year and based on start dates).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:41 am

Any idea when the vault firms offering bar stipends to 3Ls usually cut the checks? That'll be a nice present.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any idea when the vault firms offering bar stipends to 3Ls usually cut the checks? That'll be a nice present.


Late in the Spring for a pure bar stipend, a few months before you start for an advance.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any idea when the vault firms offering bar stipends to 3Ls usually cut the checks? That'll be a nice present.


Late in the Spring for a pure bar stipend, a few months before you start for an advance.


For my V50, it's half in Jan, half in the spring w direct billing for BarBri.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Signing Bonuses

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:10 am

Does anyone know this information for Minneapolis firms?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.