Lawyer Pay

Which BigLaw firms have jumped on the bonus bandwagon?

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More BigLaw firms are announcing associate bonuses after Milbank was the first to reveal on Nov. 7 that it will keep year-end payments the same as last year.

Cravath followed on Nov. 11, announcing bonuses that match Milbank’s—in amounts that range from $15,000 to $100,000, depending on years of service.

Since then, several BigLaw and boutique firms have announced the same or similar bonuses; Above the Law has been tracking each one.

The bonus schedule 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

Law firms matching the bonus schedule include Davis Polk, Proskauer, Freshfields, Cadwalader (those who bill more than 2,200 hours get bonuses at 120% of scale), Paul Weiss, Fried Frank (in New York City, Washington, D.C., and London, with offer of up to 30% more for excellent performance), Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, Clifford Chance, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Debevoise, Skadden (senior associates get an extra $10,000 for extraordinary performance), Shearman & Sterling, Simpson Thacher and 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.

For those who are impressed with this year’s bonuses, Above the Law points out that pre-recession bonuses were even larger. In 2007, first-year associates earned year-end bonuses of $35,000 plus a $10,000 special bonus.

Updated to add law firms paying bonuses.

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