Try this on for size — there’s rumor of a sleeping room at a Los Angeles law firm where hard-working associates can find beds on which to spend the night, as well as a shower and freshly starched shirts. Rand April, managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, says the rumor just isn’t true, though it’s not the first time he’s heard it.

On one hand it sounds ludicrous, but what’s telling is that it’s plausible enough to be repeated. Indeed, what big law firm isn’t searching the dark reaches of the magic hat for new tricks to get and keep associates? With salaries established at record levels, firms are concentrating on offers of plum benefits such as stock options, shorter partnership tracks and bonuses on top of bonuses.

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