Lawyer Pay

Cravath mostly matches Baker McKenzie bonuses; what about the class of 2015?

  • Print.

pile of money

Image from Shutterstock.

Updated: Cravath, Swaine & Moore is paying year-end associate bonuses on a scale that mostly matches that of Baker McKenzie.

Cravath is paying class of 2022 associates $15,000, which is prorated based on start date. Earlier classes get increasingly larger bonuses, ending with $105,000 for the class of 2016.

But the firm doesn’t list a bonus for eighth-year associates in the class of 2015 and beyond, “which can work out great—or terribly” for associates at that level, according to Above the Law, which broke the news.

Publications that followed included, Bloomberg Law and Law360.

Baker McKenzie kicked off bonus season with its announcement Nov. 21. Its scale ranges from $20,000 for the class of 2021 to $115,000 for the class of 2015 and over. Baker McKenzie did not list a bonus for the class of 2022.

Cravath paid the same year-end bonuses last year, except it included a bonus for eighth-year associates of $115,000 in its announcement.

Here is the Cravath year-end 2022 bonus schedule, as reported in a Cravath memo obtained by Above the Law:

    • Class of 2022: $15,000 (prorated)

    • Class of 2021: $20,000

    • Class of 2020: $30,000

    • Class of 2019: $57,500

    • Class of 2018: $75,000

    • Class of 2017: $90,000

    • Class of 2016: $105,000

Cravath also included 2023 associate base salaries in its 2022 bonus memo. They range from $215,000 for the class of 2022 to $400,000 for the class of 2016, which matches the amount paid last year to associates with the same years of experience. Cravath also included eighth-year associates when it announced salaries last year, which were paid $415,000.

Another firm to announce year-end 2022 bonuses since Baker McKenzie’s announcement is Boies Schiller Flexner. It is paying standard bonuses to associates in its market-rate system ranging from $20,000 for the class of 2021 to $115,000 for the class of 2015 and more senior associates. Associates getting those bonuses must have billed 2,000 to 2,349 hours.

Associates billing 2,350 to 2,599 hours will get an “extraordinary bonus” ranging from $30,000 to $150,000 based on class year. And associates billing more than 2,600 hours will get an “extra-extraordinary bonus” ranging from $40,000 to $165,000 based on class year.

Many associates at Boies Schiller have opted to be paid based on the law firm’s old formula compensation system, which bases bonuses on billable hours, credit for originating or running certain matters, and premiums for recoveries in contingency or success-fee cases.

Additional firms that followed with similar bonus announcements are:

    • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Above the Law)

    • Davis Polk & Wardwell (Above the Law)

    • Debevoise & Plimpton (

    • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Above the Law)

    • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (with the possibility of a premium;

    • Hogan Lovells (Above the Law)

    • Litigation boutique Holwell Shuster & Goldberg (Above the Law)

    • McDermott Will & Emery ( and Above the Law)

    • Milbank (Above the Law)

    • Paul Hastings ( Above the Law)

    • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (

    • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman (Above the Law)

    • Ropes & Gray (with a bonus of $130,000 for the class of 2014 and above; Above the Law)

    • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (with the possibility of a $125,000 bonus for the class of 2015 and above; Above the Law and

    • Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Above the Law)

Updated Dec. 1 at 8:45 a.m. and Dec. 2 at 8:15 a.m., at 11:35 a.m. and at 3:25 p.m. to report on additional firms paying bonuses.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.