Lawyer Pay

BigLaw firm announces special bonuses; blog notes key word is 'discretionary'

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Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison announced special bonuses last week for associates and counsels who showed “exceptional commitment.”

The key word is “discretionary,” says Above the Law, which broke the news.

Bloomberg Law, Reuters and also have stories.

Brad Karp, chairman at Paul Weiss, provided some details in a memo obtained by Above the Law. But there was no mention of the bonus amount.

The special bonus “is designed to provide an additional reward for those associates and counsel who exhibited exceptional commitment in support of our firm and our clients during the first six months of 2021,” the memo said.

Those who showed exceptional commitment during the second half of 2021 will be recognized with another special bonus payment early next year, the memo said.

Paul Weiss also paid special bonuses in June and September at a going rate totaling $12,000 to $64,000. The firm is also paying traditional year-end bonuses that are based on class year. The memo said those traditional bonuses will “match or surpass those of our peer firms.”

At least one other firm is paying a special bonus to associates, and others will likely follow suit, reports.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo is paying an hours-based bonus ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 for associates in March 2022, said. Mintz Levin also paid a special bonus in September.

To be eligible for the new bonus, associates must bill 1,850 hours as of Feb. 28, according to Mintz Levin’s fiscal year ends March 31.

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