Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's obviously very easy to figure out salary scales, but bonus structures and levels seem fairly opaque. What sort of bonus does a solid V10 associate receive the first three years? Years 4-6?
And thanks for answering questions.
Bonus levels are fairly well publicized, especially for the V10, and are almost he exact opposite of opaque assuming we're not talking about Wachtell or Kirkland.
Anonymous's question is actually a good one because public releases about bonuses tell you the max
a firm pays associates at a certain level. It does not tell you how many associates actually get that supposedly standard bonus. Of course, the natural assumption is that at lockstep firms everyone gets the standard bonus for their given level except for the one or two low quality, terrible associates who no firm could in good conscience pay full bonuses to, right? But what if I told you that for the past few years, many firms, including V10s, have used even the most bizarre excuses to deny full bonuses to as many as they can in order to save money and/or force attrition when they have too many associates (nothing says "get lost!" like no bonus, but you can't say you were actually fired or laid off). It's a very smart approach because associates who receive half- or no bonuses are often too embarassed to admit that openly. They resolve to work harder or leave quietly. Only the ones who get full bonuses talk openly about bonuses. Thus, the erroneous, outdated idea that virtually everyone except a rare, nameless few gets the standard bonus continues.
Edited to add that students need to realize that none of the traditional positive assumptions about big law hold true any more....