After two years of ballooning benefits, the air is coming out of Big Law’s big lateral and retention bonuses. Recruiters, analysts and firm leaders say the landscape that led to things like six-figure signing bonuses for mid-level associates and creative perks like $100 non-work meal vouchers has changed, as the transactional market softened last year and the economic outlook for 2023 remains uncertain.

But firms are still aggressively recruiting in certain spots, too, as competition will still be seen and felt in certain pockets of Big Law this year, industry veterans and observers also say.

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