Enter the age of the bonus babies.

A new generation of lawyers is riding a red-hot market for associates, and law firms eager to recruit and retain fresh talent are getting creative with compensation. There are sweat bonuses and merit bonuses; standard bonuses and discretionary bonuses; longevity, boom-year, and shared-fee bonuses. Even firms historically reluctant to stray from a traditional fixed-salary structure, like D.C.’s Arnold & Porter and Covington & Burling, are implementing bonus programs in 2000.

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