A question on a LinkedIn group asked about the commonness of signing bonuses for law department lawyers below very senior levels.
I answered that I think these are infrequent. A general counsel might approve a bonus if the salary structure does not permit a sufficient base offer, so the bonus makes up for some of the shortfall. Or the bonus might absorb costs of relocation not otherwise covered. In general, however, I have not heard about signing bonuses at any level.