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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: I was offered a first-year associate position at a major law firm. However, I was not offered a signing bonus. What is the appropriate way to bring this up with the hiring partner?

City: Palo Alto

Dear California Dreaming: In the minds of many new attorneys out there, you most definitely were offered a signing bonus and it came in the form of a job offer. I have to wonder who put the idea of receiving a signing award bonus into your head.

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