Lawyers practice a difficult and demanding profession. They expect to be well compensated. In thinking about what that means, it can help to consider the basic question, “Why do we work?” Samuel Johnson supplied an obvious answer when he famously observed, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” But I am not being paid to write this article, and instead of labeling myself a blockhead, let me refer to the insight of eminent psychologist Theodor Reik: “Work and love — these are the basics. Without them there is neurosis.”

Why do we work? For money, but also for sanity. We expect and need to be compensated in nonmonetary ways. Noneconomic compensation matters to top-flight lawyers — otherwise, they would have long ago fled to investment banks. Law firms that want to recruit and retain the best (and the sanest) must compensate not only in dollars but also in psychic gratification. Accordingly, managers of elite firms need to think consciously about what lawyers are looking for beyond money. Here are some key noneconomic elements of compensation.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]