Biglaw, New York Times, Perks / Fringe Benefits

Biglaw Perk Watch: The Gray Lady’s Take

Guess what’s at the top of the New York Times Most Emailed Articles list today? A piece entitled For Lawyers, Perks to Fit a Lifestyle, by Lynnley Browning.
We’re pleasantly surprised that an article about law firm perks, a niche topic that we cover obsessively around here, is so popular with readers of a general-interest publication. Or is it just that lawyers are the only poor saps at work today?
Kelis Milkshake boys to the yard Above the law blog.jpgAmong the more notable perks mentioned in the article:

1. Milkshakes and candied apples — yum! (Perkins Coie) [FN1]
2. Mortgage guarantees for the first $100,000 of associate mortgages (Sullivan & Cromwell)
3. Reimbursements for associates who buy a hybrid car or a certain brand of car (DLA Piper; Fulbright & Jaworski)
4. On-site yoga classes (O’Melveny & Myers)

It’s an interesting article; read the whole thing here. There’s additional commentary on the piece over at the WSJ Law Blog, by Jamie Heller (filling in for Peter Lattman, who is on his honeymoon).
P.S. Looks like an NYT correction may be in order, due to a slip-up concerning the amount of year-end bonuses:

The perks come on top of higher salaries and larger bonuses — this year, the top-offs have been doubled at some practices. At the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, an old-line firm, associates will receive special payouts of $10,000 to $50,000, in addition to their year-end bonuses up to $35,000.

Our suggested rewording: “At the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, an old-line firm, some associates will receive special payouts of $10,000 to $50,000, in addition to year-end bonuses up to $60,000.” (The word “some” is needed before the word “associates,” because class of 2007 or “stub year” associates don’t get special bonuses.)
[FN1] The Perkins Coie milkshakes come from Potbelly Sandwich Works. Coincidentally, we enjoyed a PSW milkshake for the first time on Wednesday. It was Oreo, and it was delicious!
Update: One of you sent us this great comment, by email:

I thought the most poignant perk was Fried Frank’s: they offer psychotherapy (through what sounds suspiciously like a bulk discount deal) to help associates deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and divorce. I love it!

I can imagine the therapist’s notes: “Patient distressed re: possibility of negative performance review. Says he has not seen wife or child since, “let’s see … when was that holiday with the fireworks?” Is in constant pain from chronic papercuts and verbal caning associated with ongoing case. Patient noted gratefully that firm is paying for therapy. Possible diagnoses: Stockholm syndrome?”

For Lawyers, Perks to Fit a Lifestyle [New York Times]
Law Job Perks v. Law Job Woes [WSJ Law Blog]

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