Law Firms

Cooley announces 'appreciation bonuses,' commits to year-end bonuses at least this high

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Cooley has told its associates that they will receive “special appreciation bonuses” to recognize their “resilience, sacrifice and commitment” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Above the Law obtained a copy of the announcement, which said the appreciation bonuses would range from $2,500 to $7,500 for associates, of counsels and special counsels.

The special bonus will not replace year-end bonuses, which will be at least at 2019 levels, the firm said. According to Above the Law, Cooley paid $15,000 to $100,000 in 2019, based on class year.

The appreciation bonus scale is:

• $2,500 for associates in the class of 2020, 2019 and 2018.

• $5,000 for associates in the class of 2015, 2016 and 2017.

• $7,500 for special counsels, of counsels and associates in the class of 2014 and beyond.

Those on pace to bill more than 1,950 hours will receive a bonus that is “materially higher” than those promised amounts.

Above the Law calls the appreciation bonus “quite the gesture,” considering that Cooley has not previously announced any compensation cuts.

The announcement says Cooley has “more than held its own” during the pandemic. The bonuses are “intended to mark the unprecedented times we are in and to acknowledge your perseverance and reward your deserving contribution to this institution,” the memo said.

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