Compensation issues are particularly vexing for solo and small firm practitioners. In addition to setting an initial base compensation figure, practitioners must deal with the inevitable exponential growth of that base (as well as employer FICA and Medicare tax contributions, workers compensation and state disability costs) as time passes and tenure increases.

A practitioner also must consider the initial and rising future expense of added “perks,” such as medical insurance, professional association fees, CLE costs and retirement benefits. Before making an offer to any candidate, a firm must establish exactly what the cost to the firm will be for the total compensation package.