After a year of cutbacks and financial restraint in 2020, law firms have emerged from the pandemic in a mood to hire top talent and pay handsomely for it. The legal trades are abuzz nearly every day with news about associate salaries and bonuses, with each firm trying to outdo the competition as they fight over promising lawyers.

While money is an important way to lure in associates and even lateral partners, firms that focus solely on this one thing might be ignoring a powerful secret recruiting weapon: public relations. That’s because the first step any potential new hire will likely take after hunting for salary and bonus information will be to do a Google News search on the firm’s name to see what comes up.