It’s that time of year when law blogs are abuzz with stories and rumors about associate bonuses in BigLaw land. A popular website for BigLaw associates – Above the Law – has a “Bonus Watch 2010” section where readers can click to view the latest scoop on how much money various firms are dishing out for last year’s billable hours. The Wall Street Journal recently wrote and blogged about them as well. Law Firms Hold Line In Setting Bonuses (WSJ December 27, 2010). What do we learn from these stories?
Having left my Big Firm life a year ago for a career as a freelance attorney (thanks to the support of my amazing spouse), my perspective on bonuses has changed quite a bit. My bonus was the extra time I spent with my family in Iowa, my husband on date nights, my kids’ school and sporting activities, and my volunteer work through CASA. It’s far from being stress-free and there are many attorneys in BigLaw who manage to do those things and bill full time hours too (I admire you all tremendously!) but I’m happy with my bonus. Are you?
Amy Leinen Guldner joined Montage Legal Group in January, 2010 after practicing for over thirteen years at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP and Snell & Wilmer LLP. In addition to her legal work and caring for her two young children, Amy is a volunteer Court-Appointed Special Advocate with CASA of Orange County, mentoring and advocating in court on behalf of abused and neglected children. She also volunteers with the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s High School Mock Trial tournaments.