Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

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How will bonuses compare to last year?

Up
21
22%
Same
66
68%
Down
10
10%
 
Total votes: 97

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:10 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:You might want to read up a bit on Cahill. Seemed like a nice enough place but their specialties are pretty niche. Also, they've only paid above market bonuses for a few years.


Not that Cahill is all peaches and cream but if you were really jazzed up about cap markets is there any significant difference between it and say, STB other than the fact that Cahill associates are getting 3x Cravath scale? Obvious downside is lower flexibility to change practice areas if you find your work really dull, but on the whole it definitely seems more appealing than V10. I could be missing other elemens due to noobishness, but I don't see why you would use the $$$ as the main tiebreaker.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it if Cahill pays 3x Cravath scale again this year (no indication they wouldn't, based on the $10k summer bonus they got), it will be the fourth year they've done so. Judge for yourself whether that's long enough to be part of a firm profile. I think it is, especially given that the bonuses were ITE and the work, though specialized, doesn't seem like an unsustainable one-shot fortune like the Weil/Lehman work (unless there's any indication that cap markets have an especially shitty outlook in the next few years).

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Beyond a certain point, people do value other things more highly than money. This is what some of the K&E SHATTERS type trolls don't seem to get. I personally would not like working in an aggressively eat-what-you-kill place and wouldn't do it for an extra $10k a year when I'm already making 160. In fact there seems to be a common cultural thread among a lot of the above-market firms -- Quinn, Boies, Cahill, Kirkland. They all seem to have an aggressive edge that can be off-putting. If it fits your personality and your work preferences, then great, but for some people biglaw is stressful enough without being in a place with a culture like that. This is putting aside the other obvious point that, with the partial exception of Kirkland, these firms are not strong across the board in lots of practice areas like the V10-ish firms are.


Seems like every single above-market place does get referred to as aggressive or some form of striver-ish. Seems to have been true for QE, BSF, CGR, KE, SG, W&C, MTO, WLRK and I'm probably forgetting a few others. I could definitely see why you'd turn down the extra $10k/year to get a firm that caters to a more reasonable lifestyle; I just don't get why you'd turn down the above just to have an equal level of stress at CSM/S&C. Also agreed on the flexibility point, if you believe it is an important issue for you.

Big Shrimpin wrote:So fucking credited. In my busiest times, I would have traded a few hundred hours for the entirety of the like 5k after-tax bonus, let alone an additional 5k for billing a few hundred more hours.

It's nice to have a life outside of work. I'm always going to whine/flame about getting more money, but the truth is that having time away from work is worth more than whatever marginal increase in total compensation you're getting. Unless you're (a) a workaholic or (b) working at a firm that gives you a shitton of bonus money above like 2000 hours. Any by a shitton, I mean like at LEAST a third of your billables (i.e. like 10K per 100 hours worked over like 2100 hours or so).


The marginal utility of free time definitely rises as you have less of it. You might take an extra $10k to bill 2000 hours instead of 1900, whereas making a jump from 2400 to 2500 might take, say, another $25k. Obviously there is a point where work is so pervasive in your life that money doesn't matter. It does you no good in life to be a WLRK partner with a $20M net worth if your work situations means you never get to go home to your Tribeca penthouse or actually have the time to take all those St. Tropez vacations you could afford.

On the other hand, it seems like the marginal utility provided by extra hours at that level is also pretty high. E.g. cutting down to 1800 hours from 1950 at Wiley Rein was a cut from $160k to $125k. A 22% pay cut seems like a pretty steep price for an 8% cut in your billables. Similarly at BSF it seems like a difference of only 200 hours at the high end was making people like 75k or something? (If someone knows the exact details of the BSF bonus/hour relationship, I'd be interested to hear it). So definitely greater marginal value on work as well. Though I think a lot of people would agree that they would rather have a structure where Biglaw was $100k but 9-5 M-F, no weekends/four weeks vacation.

legends159 wrote:One theory is that firms raise salaries when they're competing with other industries for candidates not other firms. During boom times the best college graduates were going into other industries and not flooding law schools - at least that was the fear of those in charge at specific law firms.


This seems to be as good a theory as any--by '05, first year BB analysts would have been crushing $125k, and I'm guessing it also beat $145k in '06 and $160k in '07. Of course, this presumes a three-year investment down the line (those already in law school didn't have much choice), and as the firms rudely found out, a lot can change in three years. I guess that theory implies that STB (or anyone who raises salaries) feels that they're losing a lot of potential talent from the places IB/PE/VC recruits from (heavily Ivy/Stanford/MIT UG).

Anonymous User wrote:This point cannot be overstated. Wonder why KE/BSF/Cahill can and do pay more? They're extraordinarily profitable because of their laser focus on niche, revenue generating businesses (underwriter side high yield/mid-market PE M&A/etc.) and because their associates bill more hours in a free market system (see, BSF). The cost imposed, from the perspective of a first year, is that you can't develop the generalist skills you might at a different V10 (try doing M&A at Cahill and see how it works out). I'm not knocking the firms -- they're all great practices -- but total comp alone doesn't capture the cost/benefit of these firms vs. others.

As someone who was making the choice between V3 and all of KE/BSF/Cahill, the 10-20k comp difference was not anywhere near as important as the substantive training/exposure I'd get on a variety of work as a junior. Also remember that there are lots of niche practices areas that these firms don't have and that lots of law students are interested (ie, bankruptcy at Cahill or public company work at KE).


Credited, assuming you consider having the generalist skills an important asset. I suppose Cravath associates are essentially the most well-rounded lawyers by the time they're done. I don't know exactly how many people think that's really important, though. Maybe it isn't many, but maybe it's a lot. You couldn't really knock someone for becoming a specialist for the extra money and then using that really well-developed niche to whatever advantage they can post-Biglaw, though.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:05 pm

thesealocust wrote:Work is going to be a big part of life, step 1 should be making sure you do something you want somewhere that you're as comfortable/happy as you can be.


LOL @ this hippie. Apparently he didn't get the memo explaining how those who die with the most prestige win the game of life.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:18 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Seems like every single above-market place does get referred to as aggressive or some form of striver-ish. Seems to have been true for QE, BSF, CGR, KE, SG, W&C, MTO, WLRK and I'm probably forgetting a few others.

MTO does not pay above market (it's black-box, but from supposedly works out to market or slightly below market). MTO also does not have the aggressive reputation and associates work much less hours than NY counterparts. You are probably thinking of Irell, which has above market bonuses and has a slight reputation for aggressiveness (but not to the extent of KE/QE).

09042014
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby 09042014 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:39 pm

I don't buy the competing with banking arguments. By the time a student is considering big law, banking just isn't a realistic option.

You gotta remember back in 06 everyone at t14s was in high demand. There wasn't a surplus of qualified talent. They were scraping the bottom of the barrel. Median students at TTTs become lawyers but they sure as hell aren't fungible with top talent.

911 crisis actor
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby 911 crisis actor » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:44 pm

FWIW Cahills partnership is a lockstep, might not even be modified. HTH

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:48 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I don't buy the competing with banking arguments. By the time a student is considering big law, banking just isn't a realistic option.

You gotta remember back in 06 everyone at t14s was in high demand. There wasn't a surplus of qualified talent. They were scraping the bottom of the barrel. Median students at TTTs become lawyers but they sure as hell aren't fungible with top talent.

It still wasn't that high. Under 20% of grads, so not as if Cravath had to hire median dudes from Dozo. And in 1999, when 125K happened, Biglaw hired 13% of grads. Last year it was a little over 10%. Not much difference.

My guess is that when firms get worried about losing people they raise midlevel and senior associate salaries and junior salaries just go up right along with everybody else because that's what firms have always done. I doubt Gunderson was worried about first years going in-house to tech companies when they started the 125K craze, but they raised everyone's salary anyway.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby bombaysippin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:31 pm

http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArt ... 1103153014

Not sure if this is something people didn't already know about, but thought I would share.

ETA: It's regarding Cravath announcing associate bonuses.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:32 pm

Bajam wrote:http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202630290548&kw=Cravath%20Kicks%20Off%20Associate%20Bonus%20Season&et=editorial&bu=New%20York%20Law%20Journal&cn=20131203&src=EMC-Email&pt=Career%20Buzz&slreturn=20131103153014

Not sure if this is something people didn't already know about, but thought I would share.

ETA: It's regarding Cravath announcing associate bonuses.


No way, Cravath announced associate bonuses? Thanks for sharing, we should definitely check that out and discuss it ITT!

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El Pollito
party fowl
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby El Pollito » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:33 pm

Wow, that's really interesting.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby bombaysippin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:35 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Bajam wrote:http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202630290548&kw=Cravath%20Kicks%20Off%20Associate%20Bonus%20Season&et=editorial&bu=New%20York%20Law%20Journal&cn=20131203&src=EMC-Email&pt=Career%20Buzz&slreturn=20131103153014

Not sure if this is something people didn't already know about, but thought I would share.

ETA: It's regarding Cravath announcing associate bonuses.


No way, Cravath announced associate bonuses? Thanks for sharing, we should definitely check that out and discuss it ITT!


Dang...is that sarcasm lol? Was just trying to contribute something :(

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:58 pm

This entire thread was about waiting for Cravath to announce bonuses. It included analysis of when Cravath has historically released bonuses, and several rounds of nervous waiting around likely times. This included yesterday near the close of business, when the thread was filled with rumors about Cravath announcing bonuses. There were people discussing what might happen just before they dropped. Within minutes of Cravath announcing bonuses they were posted on AboveTheLaw and various other legal blogs. We then extensively discussed the bonuses which Cravath announced.

So, A for effort and good on you for trying to share interesting news, you but were a little late to the party on this one : )

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:00 pm

Good job, good effort!

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bombaysippin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby bombaysippin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:07 pm

Ahhh I see...haha, well thanks for the clarification!

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swc65
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby swc65 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:49 pm

Skadden matched. Boo. No bonus wars.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:01 pm

swc65 wrote:Skadden matched. Boo. No bonus wars.


Ran here to poast this.

WhirledWorld
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby WhirledWorld » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:27 pm

Where is the Skadden of 2008 when you need it? Will no one put an end to Cravath's bonus tyranny?

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:32 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:Where is the Skadden of 2008 when you need it? Will no one put an end to Cravath's bonus tyranny?


Anyone think S&C or Simpson will beat it? Both firms' transactional sides seemed busy as shit in the latter half of the year.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:37 pm

Doubt it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:38 pm

Has Skadden ever led the market (I know they tried but failed in 2008)? When was the last time Cravath didn't lead the market? Was it back in 2011 when S&C led the market?

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:51 am

Prediction: cravath will not lead the market this year. Someone will go above there scale and they'll be followed.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:53 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Prediction: cravath will not lead the market this year. Someone will go above there scale and they'll be followed.


LOL

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:56 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Prediction: cravath will not lead the market this year. Someone will go above there scale and they'll be followed.


there, there

WhirledWorld
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby WhirledWorld » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:Where is the Skadden of 2008 when you need it? Will no one put an end to Cravath's bonus tyranny?


Anyone think S&C or Simpson will beat it? Both firms' transactional sides seemed busy as shit in the latter half of the year.


Xoxohth.com user posted wrote:TO: The lucking sons-of-bitches at KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP

FR: Uncle Weymouth

RE: MARKET SHATTERING BONUSES

CLASS OF 2012: SHATTERS THE MARKET

CLASS OF 2011: SHATTERS THE MARKET

CLASS OF 2010: SHATTERS THE MARKET

CLASS OF 2009: SHATTERS THE MARKET

CLASS OF 2008: SHATTERS THE MARKET

CLASS OF 2007: YOU'RE A PARTNER

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:08 am

This is my favorite one:

Date: October 1st, 2013 3:06 PM
Author: kirklandshatters

/*\ MISINFORMATION ALERT /*\

I'm sorry that at your place of employment (I dare not deign to call it a "firm") you're stuck with "senior associate" smudged on an inkjet printer below your name on a business card.

Meanwhile, the fucking PARNTERS at KIRKLAND & ELLIS are dropping cream-colored business cards with PARTNER emblazoned in letterpress type on the ladies at the club, and you're wiping your nose with the back of your hand and wheezing beneath the thumping music, "But it's just a sixth year associate" as he's going home with the 9 in moistened panties.

Enjoy the Shirley Temple and the perspicacity of your "truth." He's got a MARKET-SHATTERING BONUS and PARTNERSHIP. You've got a bag of fucking stew in your freezer.


Followed closely by...

Date: May 18th, 2010 6:21 PM
Author: ...........................,.............

*is a K&E litigation partner*

*Sees news of gigantic oil spill*

*frantically calls wife, who is out grocery shopping*

"DARLING, PUT THAT PLAIN YELLOW SHIT BACK ON THE SHELF AND GRAB A TUB O DAT GREY POUPON!!! WE PRESIDENT NOW, YNY!!!"

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:16 am

Meanwhile, the fucking PARNTERS at KIRKLAND & ELLIS are dropping cream-colored business cards with PARTNER emblazoned in letterpress type on the ladies at the club, and you're wiping your nose with the back of your hand and wheezing beneath the thumping music, "But it's just a sixth year associate" as he's going home with the 9 in moistened panties.


:lol:




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