The cost of the “special bonuses” that a number of top law firms granted to associates in 2020 is likely to top $30 million for those with the largest head counts.

But for some, that figure may be matched by the amount they saved in 2020 from canceled travel, events and other expenditures shelved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These cost savings were likely figured into the calculus of offering associates the special bonuses.