2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

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ExBiglawAssociate
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2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Cravath kicked us off today.

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/11/breaking ... son-begin/

Class of 2012 — $10,000 (pro-rated)
Class of 2011 — $10,000
Class of 2010 — $14,000
Class of 2009 — $20,000
Class of 2008 — $27,000
Class of 2007 — $34,000
Class of 2006 — $40,000
Class of 2005 — $50,000
Class of 2004 — $60,000


Have others heard what their bonuses will be?

ShitLawOrBust
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby ShitLawOrBust » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:14 am

good

09042014
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby 09042014 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:58 am

Damn, I hope a couple of the V10 raise the market. This is okay, not great.

run26.2
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby run26.2 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:27 am

Interesting that Cravath announced a pro-rated bonus for first-years. This means that people who start early will probably get more and people who start late will get less. But if Cravath had announced a particular figure, all would have gotten the same.

I'm assuming that in years past other first did not prorate absolute figures, correct?

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:56 am

Desert Fox wrote:Damn, I hope a couple of the V10 raise the market. This is okay, not great.


A couple of V10s will beat the market, but the traditional firms that could raise the market will not. Whoever told Lat that Skadden will crush these bonuses is full of shit. Everyone will fall in line except for the traditional outliers.

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BlaqBella
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby BlaqBella » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:57 am

Steps in the right direction...until another economic bust, of course. :!:

Until then, folks will be pleased.

shock259
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby shock259 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:53 am

Assuming everyone follows suit, the takeaway seems to be cautious optimism ... ?

run26.2
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby run26.2 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:17 pm

shock259 wrote:Assuming everyone follows suit, the takeaway seems to be cautious optimism ... ?

Disagree. Firms will follow suit regardless of their outlook. They have to to appear to be financially sound.

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:21 pm

run26.2 wrote:
shock259 wrote:Assuming everyone follows suit, the takeaway seems to be cautious optimism ... ?

Disagree. Firms will follow suit regardless of their outlook. They have to to appear to be financially sound.


Sound to whom? Law students??? Latham is back to only accepting top 1/4-1/3 at my T-14...

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
shock259 wrote:Assuming everyone follows suit, the takeaway seems to be cautious optimism ... ?

Disagree. Firms will follow suit regardless of their outlook. They have to to appear to be financially sound.


Sound to whom? Law students??? Latham is back to only accepting top 1/4-1/3 at my T-14...


They don't have to do it to appear financially sound. They have to do it to retain associates.

run26.2
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby run26.2 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They don't have to do it to appear financially sound. They have to do it to retain associates.

Fair point. But also to attract incoming ones and laterals. But I think it's the same side of the coin: a firm attracts associates while it also retains its own associates wrt another firm paying less than market.

desertlaw
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby desertlaw » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:49 pm

run26.2 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They don't have to do it to appear financially sound. They have to do it to retain associates.

Fair point. But also to attract incoming ones and laterals. But I think it's the same side of the coin: a firm attracts associates while it also retains its own associates wrt another firm paying less than market.


What's the other side of the coin?

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby keg411 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:18 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Damn, I hope a couple of the V10 raise the market. This is okay, not great.


It's a baby-step improvement, at the very least. Although maybe not, since there were almost no spring bonuses this year, and there were last year.

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thesealocust
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby thesealocust » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:53 pm

run26.2 wrote:Interesting that Cravath announced a pro-rated bonus for first-years. This means that people who start early will probably get more and people who start late will get less. But if Cravath had announced a particular figure, all would have gotten the same.

I'm assuming that in years past other first did not prorate absolute figures, correct?


It depends on the firm, the location, and probably the year.

It's a safe bet that firms which gave stipends to incoming first years won't be paying them any bonus during the stub year. Firms that gave out primarily salary advances are much more likely to give stub years some kind of bonus, but the last time I checked it wasn't universal.

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Old Gregg
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:46 pm

Simpson matched. The rest of the Vault 10 will generally fall in line, whethere they like it or not. I'd expect some hijinks lower down the food chain (around V30 or so and below) in the form of one or more of the following:
1) No bonuses for stub years
2) Higher hours expectations to receive bonus
3) No bonuses at all/much lower than market (these never tend to make it to ATL, but know a few NYC V100s that have flat out stopped giving bonuses since 2009.

The generosity is especially heightened for mid levels and senior associates, who have plenty of exit options especially out of the V10.

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:32 pm

I wonder if Cravath is worried about associate retention. I ask because my firm has taken several laterals from Cravath over the past year.

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Old Gregg
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I wonder if Cravath is worried about associate retention. I ask because my firm has taken several laterals from Cravath over the past year.


Yes.

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:04 pm

Fresh Prince (or anyone else),
This might be a stupid question, but I don't care: As a future NYC associate, I'm wondering, does a $10k bonus feel awesome? I mean, I've never made decent money in my life, so it definitely sounds like it would feel euphoric, but does that feeling get lost in the taxes, loan repayment, New York rent payment, and soul-crushing hours?

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:42 pm

I've literally been at an NYC V5 for all of 2.5 weeks, and I'm gonna go ahead and say a $10K bonus, while nice, isn't that big of a deal. Bear in mind that $10K is about 3 weeks' worth of gross pay, so the bonus payment is only 50% larger than a normal bi-monthly paycheck.

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:58 pm

Most relevant part:

Class Year — 2011 — 2012
1st Years (stub) — $0 — $10,000 prorated
1st Years — $10,000 — $10,000
2nd Years — $17,500 — $14,000
3rd Years — $25,000 — $20,000
4th Years — $35,000 — $27,000
5th Years — $45,000 — $34,000
6th Years — $50,000 — $40,000
7th Years — $57,500 — $50,000
8th Years — $57,500 — $60,000


Bonuses actually went DOWN for the most part this year if you include spring bonuses.

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BlaqBella
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby BlaqBella » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Fresh Prince (or anyone else),
This might be a stupid question, but I don't care: As a future NYC associate, I'm wondering, does a $10k bonus feel awesome? I mean, I've never made decent money in my life, so it definitely sounds like it would feel euphoric, but does that feeling get lost in the taxes, loan repayment, New York rent payment, and soul-crushing hours?


For the crap you have to put up with in NYC BIGLAW, especially as a junior associate, 10k before taxes is an embarassment.

Same goes for 30k bonus before taxes as a 5th year. Most BIGLAW lawyers are alcoholics, pill-poppers, etc for a reason.

But, whatever. In this economy, things can be much worse.

kryptix
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby kryptix » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:09 pm

After finance bonuses, law bonuses are going to feel like a slap in the face :) 10000/160000=6.25% bonus which in finance would be the equivalent of telling someone they weren't going to be retained.

I guess something I'll need to get used to.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Fresh Prince (or anyone else),
This might be a stupid question, but I don't care: As a future NYC associate, I'm wondering, does a $10k bonus feel awesome? I mean, I've never made decent money in my life, so it definitely sounds like it would feel euphoric, but does that feeling get lost in the taxes, loan repayment, New York rent payment, and soul-crushing hours?


Ballpark financials living in NYC:

Monthly paycheck would be between a little under $8,000 before deductions (401(K), health, dental, vision, and other cafeteria plan benefits). Rent varies wildly based on preferences, from under 2K to over 3K per month. Bills (utilities, cell plan, commuting, etc.) are usually a few hundred. Student loan payments vary from 0 to 2-3K+ for people who are aggressive about it. Leftover for savings, food, buying "stuff," travel, clothes, etc.

A $10,000 bonus will be withheld so the check itself will only be around $6K, which is probably going to be around but in most cases less than your monthly paycheck after deductions (depends a lot on retirement contributions and if you have a family which would bump up health coverage costs). Since you really can't budget for a bonus ever, much less in a climate like that, getting a check that's almost equal to another month's salary is certainly going to feel like a nice bonus. It might not put a bounce in your step if you use it to pay down debt or put it in savings/investment, but it's definitely not a kick in the pants.

The job can be taxing and brutal... but that's not exactly unique to biglaw. A lot of people hate their jobs and have shitty unpredictable hours, many fewer earn 6 figures with a bonus and benefits at the same time. How each individual responds will depend a lot on their perspective in life. There will always be associates who feel overworked and under-appreciated or compensated. There will always be associates just greatful for a paycheck and wiling to put up with any abuse. Most people will fall somewhere in the middle, and it will vary a lot even between people at the same firm (the personalities they work under, how busy their particular matters were and with what predictability, etc.)

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:41 pm

Given the above speculation that the rest of the V10 will fall in line, are there any guesses about how that will impact Kirkland's tendency to pay above market bonuses? Should we expect the same K&E : CSM ratio as last year?

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Re: 2012 Biglaw Bonuses Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Given the above speculation that the rest of the V10 will fall in line, are there any guesses about how that will impact Kirkland's tendency to pay above market bonuses? Should we expect the same K&E : CSM ratio as last year?


Not a Kirkland associate, but even last year's bonuses at K&E would have kicked the ass of the new, larger Cravath bonuses. It's always tough to tell exactly how much Kirkland bonuses are though (since they're not uniform), so I think you're going to have a somewhat tough time drawing a precise comparison.

Kirkland associates: When do bonuses typically get announced there?




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