Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

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randomdandom
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Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby randomdandom » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:12 pm

Do most firms give some sort of signing bonus or bar stipend? When I got my offer letter, i was totally stoked to see an unexpected $10,000 bar stipend to be dispensed in May. Do the other v100s do this?

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Old Gregg
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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:21 pm

Many firms do this, though most firms based in NY give a salary advance instead of a stipend.

randomdandom
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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby randomdandom » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:35 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Many firms do this, though most firms based in NY give a salary advance instead of a stipend.


When its termed a "salary advance", is the advance deducted from your 1st year salary or is it essentially a bonus?

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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:55 pm

Very standard for a lot of firms, even non V-100s. You should also find out what is covered by signing bonus.

For example, my offer letter indicated that I would be receiving a $9000 signing bonus which was separate from the 1) the firm covering the bar and bar review classes; 2) the house hunting trip; and 3) the relocation expenses.

Don't forget though that it is taxed, so the check will be significantly less than the $10,000...although nothing to scoff at.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:07 pm

randomdandom wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:Many firms do this, though most firms based in NY give a salary advance instead of a stipend.


When its termed a "salary advance", is the advance deducted from your 1st year salary or is it essentially a bonus?


It's an advance, so it has to be paid back. Standard practice, I think, is to recoup it from several paychecks.

mrwhoppers
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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby mrwhoppers » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:38 am

2L looking forward to my SA next summer--curious whether the $9k is typical for a signing bonus, and whether signing bonus is synonymous with a "bar stipend" that is independent of bar expenses and relocation expenses?

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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:40 am

10k salary advance + bar costs + moving expenses.

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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:52 am

I'm the 9K signing bonus guy from above. I am not entirely sure whether this is the norm or not. Mine was not an advance, at least i don't think it is. Nothing in the offer letter indicates that it is advance and nothing on NALP says it is advance. The words "signing bonus" seems to imply that it is not an advance. Otherwise that would be pretty deceiving.

mrwhoppers wrote:2L looking forward to my SA next summer--curious whether the $9k is typical for a signing bonus, and whether signing bonus is synonymous with a "bar stipend" that is independent of bar expenses and relocation expenses?


If your firm is on NALP, check the form and expand all the "pluses" under the compensation tab. My info was buried in multiple tabs so that if you expanded everything, you could clearly deduce whether bar expenses were included in the signing bonus or not. When in doubt, contact the recruiting coordinator...although you should probably wait until after you get your permanent offer. ;-)

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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:29 am

Non-vault IP boutique in NYC: all bar expenses (barbri, travel, etc.) + stipend.

For me, it totaled close to 8-10K.

randomdandom
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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby randomdandom » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:16 pm

Thanks for weighing in everyone. For the 2Ls out there, I got

Bar expenses + $10K "Bar Stipend" (not to be repaid - essentially signing bonus). No relocation needed so no relocation expenses.

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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:08 pm

If there's no mention of a signing bonus or bar stipend under NALP, is it correct to assume the firm doesn't offer one (I'm going non-vault biglaw nyc, so won't be surprised.)

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Re: Signing Bonuses / Bar Stipend

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:If there's no mention of a signing bonus or bar stipend under NALP, is it correct to assume the firm doesn't offer one (I'm going non-vault biglaw nyc, so won't be surprised.)


I don't know if my situation was unique, but I heard nothing of a signing bonus or a bar stipend and neither is listed on the firm's NALP entry. Had I known signing bonuses existed, I likely would have inquired (only after an offer was extended, of course). Also, I didn't receive a formal, written offer for SA due to my particular situation (Dewey fallout) and the short notice upon which I was hired.




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