In this piece from Princeton Legal Search Group, the focus shifts from the eye-popping salaries we read about every day – Milbank raises first-year associates to $200K and eighth-year associates to $355K and Davis Polk ups the ante to $205K/$365K – to why. According to the folks at Princeton, the question is whether top compensation is enough. Is money enough to buy associate happiness and loyalty? Not necessarily, they conclude. “Some research shows that there may be very little, or only short-term, benefits from a higher salary,” Princeton says. “That is because humans are adaptable creatures. At the outset, a significant monetary raise will, indeed, result in an attorney’s happiness and loyalty to the organization. However, that glow will invariably last for only a short time. As with most things in life, people become accustomed to the ‘new normal.’ In short, we adapt. So, whether it is a higher salary or better bonus, the thrill is only temporary.” In fact, the piece continues, “other research goes even farther, finding that higher salaries may impede happiness and hurt productivity.” So if money is not a good motivator, what is? The ABCs –autonomy, belonging, and competence. “So, when you are interviewing for that new position,” Princeton concludes, “you may want to have questions prepared that will reveal how much autonomy there is when completing assignments (A), whether affinity groups exist (B) and, if developmental opportunities or stretch assignments are offered (C). Read the full piece here.