Do not announce your bonuses on Friday


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505 points

Somewhere along the way it got to people’s heads that corporate news should be out on Friday. Over the past several weeks, a number of Biglaw companies have followed this questionable conventional wisdom and have waited until the end of the business to release their advertisements.

This is a terrible idea.

Advisors from Office Space taught us that it is better to separate people on Fridays (“Studies have statistically shown that there is less chance of an accident if you do this at the end of the week), but how does that link to reward? Announcements? There’s no reason to delay the good news.

Does advertising lead to a brief drop in productivity while pals celebrate (and send emails above the law)? Certainly. But, for better or for worse, this is an industry that works around the clock, and it really doesn’t matter whether you take the party on Monday or Friday.

Is the concern that you guys might go out for happy hour after hearing the news and be useless the next morning? Even if this is a valid concern during normal times – and it may not be – it’s definitely not a concern when there’s no physical presence in the office to meet.

And certainly, positively, do not announce at the end of business on Friday. We’ve had West Coast companies announce after the East Coast business closes which just means that those of us in the media might not get there until Monday – when they are buried by Monday’s announcements – and in any case ensure no one is going to read about them.

Which gets to the bottom line of the rewards. Yes, the company shows its appreciation for all the hard work, blah, blah, blah. But in fact, this is all about signaling to the market that the company is financially prepared to play in the major leagues and signaling to lawyers that they will be compensated for the highest dollar if they join. Much like Dr. Strangelove, the bonus advertisement is useless if no one finds it.

If I were giving advice to Biglaw companies, I’d say announce midweek. Aim to make sure it’s there so the story gets published during the rush hours when people are at their desks checking their email. The main point is to get noticed, so go when the crowd is assembled!

Please communicate this message to the powers that be. We are trying to help you.


head shotJoe Patrice He is a senior editor on Above the Law and co-host of Thinking like a lawyer. Do not hesitate to E-mail Any tips, questions or comments. follow him Twitter If you are interested in law, politics and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also works as a Managing Director of RPN Executive Search.


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