Asking for More—Timing Is Everything

Sarah Van Steenburg
The key is knowing when and at what stage of your career you should ask for additional benefits.

The key is knowing when and at what stage of your career you should ask for additional benefits.

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What is a fringe benefit? Merriam-Webster defines this in two parts: first, as a benefit provided by an employer that has a monetary value beyond your actual salary; second, as an additional benefit. Most law firms provide a host of benefits that fall into this former category for their junior attorneys including, but not limited to, paid holidays, insurance (health, disability, etc.), paid vacation, relocation and moving expenses, bar expenses, and clerkship bonuses. These are standard among the American Lawyer’s A-List and part of their talent attraction and retention practices. As a recruiter who has worked and counseled attorneys for the past 15 years, I would define a fringe benefit as the latter category, namely anything above and beyond the law firm’s standard benefits. Over the years, I have observed and negotiated additional benefits such as part-time work schedules, remote work options, signing bonuses, etc. for seasoned, highly valued attorneys. I have seen attorneys create very nice situations for themselves within their firms, but knowing when and at what stage of your career to ask for these additional benefits is truly the key.

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