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TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN -  ’Tis the season (one of them anyway) in which law firms are shelling out major money in the hopes of attracting and retaining top associates. This year, a white-hot talent market coming on the heels of unprecedented profit growth for many firms has made competition even fiercer than usual. But, as we explore in this week’s Law.com Trendspotter column, it’s becoming clear that no amount of money or even contractual obligations can guarantee a firm’s ability to lock in sought-after associates for any significant length of time. And while cash may be the main consideration for many associates in choosing a landing spot, firms would do well to recognize that it’s far from the only consideration when it comes to retention. I’m interested to hear what you think: Assuming the pay is basically equal among competitors, what can/should competitive law firms do to retain their top young talent? Is work-life balance in Big Law even a real option? If so, what does it look like? Let me know at [email protected].