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

09042014
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby 09042014 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:26 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:^

This is pretty spot on. I'm really confused why people would think biglaw bonuses would go up this year. My impression is that revenue at firms has stayed about the same (at best), there are still a shitload of new law grads (WAY more than necessary to fill biglaw summer classes) being pumped out by top law schools every year, and partners are becoming greedier and greedier by the hour.


I'd imagine overall profitability is only somewhat related to bonuses. I'd bet the lateral market has more to do with it.


If all (or almost all) firms match Cravath bonuses, they aren't using bonuses to compete in the lateral market, no? I mean, I guess they are competing with in house departments, govt jobs, etc.?


Bonuses aren't nearly as lockstep as the salaries are.

But I'd imagine they are mostly just bribing you stay. I've seen it expressed (on the internet, so grain of salt) that shitty bonuses make people who were working hard at their firm feel under appreciated. "2500 hours and all I get is 20k, fuck this I'm gone."

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:41 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:^

This is pretty spot on. I'm really confused why people would think biglaw bonuses would go up this year. My impression is that revenue at firms has stayed about the same (at best), there are still a shitload of new law grads (WAY more than necessary to fill biglaw summer classes) being pumped out by top law schools every year, and partners are becoming greedier and greedier by the hour.


Thanks dood. It's hard to instill sense around here sometimes. I've been on this bort for way too long, but I have to set the record straight.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:50 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:^

This is pretty spot on. I'm really confused why people would think biglaw bonuses would go up this year. My impression is that revenue at firms has stayed about the same (at best), there are still a shitload of new law grads (WAY more than necessary to fill biglaw summer classes) being pumped out by top law schools every year, and partners are becoming greedier and greedier by the hour.


I'd imagine overall profitability is only somewhat related to bonuses. I'd bet the lateral market has more to do with it.


If all (or almost all) firms match Cravath bonuses, they aren't using bonuses to compete in the lateral market, no? I mean, I guess they are competing with in house departments, govt jobs, etc.?


Bonuses aren't nearly as lockstep as the salaries are.

But I'd imagine they are mostly just bribing you stay. I've seen it expressed (on the internet, so grain of salt) that shitty bonuses make people who were working hard at their firm feel under appreciated. "2500 hours and all I get is 20k, fuck this I'm gone."



No this is true. Some firms (maybe not the bigger V firms) sweeten the deal with signing bonuses to compete. Bonus structures are definitely all over the place (see ATL writeups). I think bonuses are a great way to tell how a firm treats it's associates. The variables like hours requirements, whether you get a bonus if you meet/don't meet, whether you get combat pay, etc., are all indicative of the firm's policies and humanitarianism.

Getting the same/near payout as someone in your class year who billed hundreds of hours less than you stings. But if the firm gives you kickbacks for your blood, sweat and tears, at least you're the one to blame for staying.

WhirledWorld
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby WhirledWorld » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:55 pm

If there's no reason to think bonuses will go up this year, why'd they jump so much last year?

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:04 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:If there's no reason to think bonuses will go up this year, why'd they jump so much last year?


It was stagnant for like 3 years prior, no?

redsox550
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby redsox550 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:07 pm

if bonuses are actually tied to lateral market than that is a good sign. From what I read, because of the shitstorm of 09 and those years, there is actually a shortage of midlevel associates right now. Not sure if thats actually true though

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:25 pm

redsox550 wrote:if bonuses are actually tied to lateral market than that is a good sign. From what I read, because of the shitstorm of 09 and those years, there is actually a shortage of midlevel associates right now. Not sure if thats actually true though


There will be a shortage. But that aside, there is a ton of voluntary attrition. Big lawyers know the jig is up when they're working 2500+ hours a year and getting $170,000 as a first year.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:27 pm

I'm at STB (new associate) and can confirm that there have been whispers that we may beat the Cravath scale this year--whispers from two partners independently, not from associates. Still only rumors, and I am expecting us to match Cravath, but it's at least possible that we won't. I certainly don't think Cravath will raise bonuses. What happens if STB (or somewhere else that normally follows Cravath) beats the Cravath scale is harder to predict.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm at STB (new associate) and can confirm that there have been whispers that we may beat the Cravath scale this year--whispers from two partners independently, not from associates. Still only rumors, and I am expecting us to match Cravath, but it's at least possible that we won't. I certainly don't think Cravath will raise bonuses. What happens if STB (or somewhere else that normally follows Cravath) beats the Cravath scale is harder to predict.


Depends on where the beating takes place. If it's across the board, Cravath will follow. If it's just at the top (i.e., like what S&C did a few years prior), Cravath won't follow.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:47 pm

Cravath isn't always first on these things either, but it's a safe bet that a name brand firm, probably based in NYC, will be.

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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'll be working in biglaw (500+) for the firm's home office, which is in a secondary market. Anyone have any insight on how bonuses might work for this kind of firm? Do they typically give out bonuses at all? I realize the answer to this is firm-specific, but I'd like to hear some general thoughts if possible.

Outside of the "lockstep" firms (usually at the top of the Vault rankings), bonuses are usually more secretive and discretionary. Each firm is different. You might be able to get information on yours from online sources (Chambers Associate, Vault.com commentary, TLS, ATL, AutoAdmit, etc.). Otherwise, you'll just have to wait until you can ask current associates.

From my observations (at my own firm and from talking to friends at other firms), these firms generally have an unwritten hours cutoff for bonus eligibility, sometimes 100 or 200 hours above the 2000 minimum. Bonuses may be a set amount for everyone, or dependent on class year, hours, and/or other factors. These factors may change year-to-year based on the firm's financial performance. Basically it's a black box. Usually bonuses at these firms are less than what associates get at lockstep firms.


Got it. Thanks for the info!

ipguy
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ipguy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:19 am

Big Shrimpin wrote:I was being hyperbolic by saying "never," but hoping for 190 in the near future, much less expecting it, is a fucking fool's errand.
.

Sticking with

*never* would be the stupidest word to put in there.


and you still seem dumb.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:06 am

WhirledWorld wrote:If there's no reason to think bonuses will go up this year, why'd they jump so much last year?


Tons of growth at the top firms. Last year was batshit insane.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:50 am

ipguy wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:I was being hyperbolic by saying "never," but hoping for 190 in the near future, much less expecting it, is a fucking fool's errand.
.

Sticking with

*never* would be the stupidest word to put in there.


and you still seem dumb.


Astute analysis there, lil brah. Try again when you have actually have something to say. :wink:

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:53 am

zweitbester wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:If there's no reason to think bonuses will go up this year, why'd they jump so much last year?


Tons of growth at the top firms. Last year was batshit insane.


I would be elated if the market jumped (I'd love to buy myself a nice toy), but I've learned not to get my hopes up. This can only be understood when you've felt the weight of the billable hour for some time.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:29 am

Big Shrimpin wrote:
zweitbester wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:If there's no reason to think bonuses will go up this year, why'd they jump so much last year?


Tons of growth at the top firms. Last year was batshit insane.


I would be elated if the market jumped (I'd love to buy myself a nice toy), but I've learned not to get my hopes up. This can only be understood when you've felt the weight of the billable hour for some time.


I'm with you here bro.

I have no doubt in my mind that bonuses won't be higher this year. If anything, I am prepared to get less this year than I did last year.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:41 am

Is it really so dour market-wide? Maybe I'm just in a bubble, but my (narrow) practice area has broken its record for "busiest month ever" a few times already this year...

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:55 am

thesealocust wrote:Is it really so dour market-wide? Maybe I'm just in a bubble, but my (narrow) practice area has broken its record for "busiest month ever" a few times already this year...


We did too. But yes, we are in a bubble. The overall market is flat at best.

ipguy
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ipguy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:13 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:Astute analysis there, lil brah. Try again when you have actually have something to say. :wink:


I'll slow this down for you "broski" Perhaps your poor reading comprehension and communication skills are why your bonus is flat.

1. You claimed salaries would never reach $190k.
Big Shrimpin wrote:"never."

2. I replied that saying salaries would never reach $190k made zero sense.
3. You articulated the reasons you felt I was incorrect in this well thought out, insightful, and well supported response:
Big Shrimpin wrote:You seem dumb.

4. I pointed out that you may need a lesson in entry level econ, as implying that salaries would never reach $190k was about as intelligent as saying the sun will never burn out.

Which brings us back to your current reply. Why don't you try again when you have something of even entry level intelligence to add.
:roll:

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Danger Zone
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:16 pm

ipguy wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:Astute analysis there, lil brah. Try again when you have actually have something to say. :wink:


I'll slow this down for you "broski" Perhaps your poor reading comprehension and communication skills are why your bonus is flat.

1. You claimed salaries would never reach $190k.
Big Shrimpin wrote:"never."

2. I replied that saying salaries would never reach $190k made zero sense.
3. You articulated the reasons you felt I was incorrect in this well thought out, insightful, and well supported response:
Big Shrimpin wrote:You seem dumb.

4. I pointed out that you may need a lesson in entry level econ, as implying that salaries would never reach $190k was about as intelligent as saying the sun will never burn out.

Which brings us back to your current reply. Why don't you try again when you have something of even entry level intelligence to add.
:roll:

y u mad tho

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:19 pm

wow some aspie rage up in this bitch

ipguy
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ipguy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:20 pm

Danger Zone wrote:y u mad tho

I'm not, just enjoying a good laugh on a friday at the expense of clown-ship esquire.

:lol:

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:52 pm

ipguy wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:y u mad tho

I'm not, just enjoying a good laugh on a friday at the expense of clown-ship esquire.

:lol:


Idk brofessor, you sound like you need to rage dump some more

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Danger Zone
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:59 pm

zweitbester wrote:
ipguy wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:y u mad tho

I'm not, just enjoying a good laugh on a friday at the expense of clown-ship esquire.

:lol:


Idk brofessor, you sound like you need to rage dump some more

Yeah brosef, let the hate flow through you.

ipguy
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ipguy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:38 pm

zweitbester wrote:
ipguy wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:y u mad tho

I'm not, just enjoying a good laugh on a friday at the expense of clown-ship esquire.

:lol:


Idk brofessor, you sound like you need to rage dump some more


After the mexican I had for lunch I will certainly be rage dumping soon




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