By now all of you have heard of the new round of salary increases for lawyers that began in California and is currently sweeping the nation. Bracing against the siren call of dot-com companies, law firms have followed suit and have been raising salaries and piling on perks in an effort to stem the exodus of young lawyers and entice law school students to join law firms rather than the Silicon Alleys and Valleys of the world. You only need to look at how far first-year salaries have jumped to see how serious most firms consider this problem.

Firms are now looking for ways to limit the number of associates who are leaving and, more important, to make sure that the associates who are staying are happy. They are aware that if practicing law just is not for you, then no perks will keep you in the profession beyond your short-term desire to reap the benefits of an increased salary. But for those of you who do want to keep practicing law, we feel there are a few things more important to your career than what coffee the firm is serving.

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