Associate bonus schedule set by Milbank is largely intact as more law firms make announcements
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Most law firms that are announcing associate bonuses are sticking with the bonus range of $15,000 to $100,000 set by Milbank.
Above the Law is keeping track of the announcements on a “compensation scorecard” and in separate posts. The bonus amounts are generally the same as last year.
The bonus schedule followed by most firms making announcements is:
Class of 2019 – $15,000 (prorated)
Class of 2018 – $15,000
Class of 2017 – $25,000
Class of 2016 – $50,000
Class of 2015 – $65,000
Class of 2014 – $80,000
Class of 2013 – $90,000
Class of 2012 – $100,000
Some firms require a minimum number of billable hours to receive a bonus, while other have no set requirements.
Law firms that are offering greater compensation include Schulte Roth & Zabel (offering an additional $20,000 and $40,000, respectively, for hitting 2,300 and 2,500 billable-hour marks), Baker McKenzie (offering unspecified above-market rates for “exceptional performance”), Skadden (offering $10,000 extra for “extraordinary performance” by senior associates), Cadwalader (paying bonuses at 120% of market for reaching 2,200 billable mark), and Fried Frank (paying bonuses 15% or 30% above market at the 2,200- and 2,450-hour marks).
According to Above the Law, these firms have announced bonuses that generally match the bonus schedule set by Milbank and Cravath (with extra amounts noted above): Davis Polk, Proskauer, Freshfields, Cadwalader, Paul Weiss, Fried Frank, Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, Clifford Chance, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Debevoise, Skadden, Shearman & Sterling, Baker McKenzie, Simpson Thacher, Weil Gotshal, Sidley Austin, Dechert, and Schulte Roth & Zabel.
At Reid Collins & Tsai, associate bonuses range from $85,000 to $102,500. Ropes & Gray is matching the scale for junior associates (though the amount can be adjusted up or down), while others will receive individualized bonuses.