Law Firms

Susman Godfrey announces hefty bonuses; other boutique firms also exceed Cravath standard

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Susman Godfrey has announced it will pay median bonuses of up to $170,000 for its longest-term associates, though two associates received bonuses of more than $220,000 in recognition for their success in business development.

The litigation boutique’s bonuses surpass the standard set by Cravath, Swaine & Moore, which range from $15,000 to $100,000, according to a press release. Above the Law and Texas Lawyer also covered the bonuses.

The median bonuses, “with some adjustments based on quantity and quality of work,” are:

• Class of 2015: $45,000

• Class of 2014: $85,000

• Class of 2013: $100,000

• Class of 2012: $120,000

• Class of 2011: $150,000

• Class of 2010 (or earlier): $170,000

Susman Godfrey announced earlier this year that it is paying a $25,000 signing bonus to new lawyers at the firm, in addition to clerkship bonuses that begin at $80,000 for a clerkship with one federal judge. The firm’s starting salary for associates is $190,000, according to (sub. req.).

Susman Godfrey isn’t the only boutique firm paying bonuses that meet or surpass the Cravath bonus scale, according to They include:

• Hueston Hennigan, paying bonuses that amount to 30 to 50 percent of associate salaries.

• Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, paying $22,500 to $150,000.

• Kaplan & Company, matching Cravath bonuses.

• Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, matching Cravath bonuses.

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