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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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:03 pm

bone us

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:10 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:bone us


I plan on it, breh.

Biglaw has tempered my expectations about everything. I've become a shell of a once hopeful creature.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:17 pm

FWIW, some of the twitter IPO press mentioned that this was one of the biggest years in the history of ever for debt & equity capital markets work.

Also, those mufti-billion dollar fines banks are hashing out with the feds almost certainly came after a gorillion man-hours of legal work...

HOPE. IT SPRINGS ETERNAL.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:19 pm

I wanna believe. But I just, can't.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:21 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:NY TO 190


I agree.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:22 pm

YNY!

Edit: at this point, I'd take some cupcakes and/or cheap champagne in a disposable plastic flute.

09042014
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby 09042014 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:25 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:NY TO 190


I agree.


TWIST: 190 hours per month to be bonus eligible.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:26 pm

Yay I'm bonus eligible!

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:31 pm

thesealocust wrote:FWIW, some of the twitter IPO press mentioned that this was one of the biggest years in the history of ever for debt & equity capital markets work.

Also, those mufti-billion dollar fines banks are hashing out with the feds almost certainly came after a gorillion man-hours of legal work...

HOPE. IT SPRINGS ETERNAL.



Cream of the crop firms are doing extremely well. Still, no doubt in my mind that Cravath will keep bonuses in line.

09042014
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby 09042014 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:32 pm

I still cannot believe most firms don't give bonuses based on number of hours. Like 50-80 bucks for everything over 2000 hours and people would be going fucking nuts with billing.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:34 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I still cannot believe most firms don't give bonuses based on number of hours. Like 50-80 bucks for everything over 2000 hours and people would be going fucking nuts with billing.


Well, some (many? a lot of?) firms do.

The counterarguments have some weight though. It encourages inefficiency and/or padding and stands to foster a competitive rather than collaborative environment, especially when times are lean. It's also not always up to an associate how hard they work - junior lawyers aren't winning business and can only have so much say in the matters they get on and the pace at which that work comes.

My favorite rumor is that there are firms with ~STEALTH BONUSES~ for high billers. I've heard, through the grape vine (and if you know me, then no, it's not about my firm) that some firms will basically pick up the tab for an expensive vacation if you bill over X hours in the year. It's not cash and they're pretty serious about it being for R&R. Seems like a neat system to me.

run26.2
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby run26.2 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:38 pm

Citi's latest report is that growth in the legal industry has been anemic this year. Although certain firms have done better, I don't think they have done well enough (as an entire firm) to warrant trying to blow other firms out of the water with their bonuses in the name of attracting the best and the brightest.

My prediction is that bonuses will be the same for the lower end of the scale (say years 1-3).

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:42 pm

thesealocust wrote:Yay I'm bonus eligible!


Woof.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:01 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I still cannot believe most firms don't give bonuses based on number of hours. Like 50-80 bucks for everything over 2000 hours and people would be going fucking nuts with billing.


Well, some (many? a lot of?) firms do.

The counterarguments have some weight though. It encourages inefficiency and/or padding and stands to foster a competitive rather than collaborative environment, especially when times are lean. It's also not always up to an associate how hard they work - junior lawyers aren't winning business and can only have so much say in the matters they get on and the pace at which that work comes.

My favorite rumor is that there are firms with ~STEALTH BONUSES~ for high billers. I've heard, through the grape vine (and if you know me, then no, it's not about my firm) that some firms will basically pick up the tab for an expensive vacation if you bill over X hours in the year. It's not cash and they're pretty serious about it being for R&R. Seems like a neat system to me.


I know one that gives a three-figure restaurant gift card if you exceed a certain number of hours in a month.

It's a lifestyle firm, ironically. I've billed more than the threshold ever since I've started...

run26.2
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby run26.2 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:06 am

zweitbester wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I still cannot believe most firms don't give bonuses based on number of hours. Like 50-80 bucks for everything over 2000 hours and people would be going fucking nuts with billing.


Well, some (many? a lot of?) firms do.

The counterarguments have some weight though. It encourages inefficiency and/or padding and stands to foster a competitive rather than collaborative environment, especially when times are lean. It's also not always up to an associate how hard they work - junior lawyers aren't winning business and can only have so much say in the matters they get on and the pace at which that work comes.

My favorite rumor is that there are firms with ~STEALTH BONUSES~ for high billers. I've heard, through the grape vine (and if you know me, then no, it's not about my firm) that some firms will basically pick up the tab for an expensive vacation if you bill over X hours in the year. It's not cash and they're pretty serious about it being for R&R. Seems like a neat system to me.


I know one that gives a three-figure restaurant gift card if you exceed a certain number of hours in a month.

It's a lifestyle firm, ironically. I've billed more than the threshold ever since I've started...

I like that type of incentive, but it seems like a restaurant card would get old after awhile. How about just a prepaid spending card?

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:06 am

thesealocust wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I still cannot believe most firms don't give bonuses based on number of hours. Like 50-80 bucks for everything over 2000 hours and people would be going fucking nuts with billing.


Well, some (many? a lot of?) firms do.

The counterarguments have some weight though. It encourages inefficiency and/or padding and stands to foster a competitive rather than collaborative environment, especially when times are lean. It's also not always up to an associate how hard they work - junior lawyers aren't winning business and can only have so much say in the matters they get on and the pace at which that work comes.

My favorite rumor is that there are firms with ~STEALTH BONUSES~ for high billers. I've heard, through the grape vine (and if you know me, then no, it's not about my firm) that some firms will basically pick up the tab for an expensive vacation if you bill over X hours in the year. It's not cash and they're pretty serious about it being for R&R. Seems like a neat system to me.


I grew up broke and am still broke and it will be a while until I am not broke so I am not complaining and I realize that many people in the world have it much much worse -- however, the structure some (a lot of?) firms have where it's Cravath bonus at 2000 hours (fair enough), but then 10k for 2300 and 10k for 2500 is an absurdly weak (dis)incentive. That's $33 an hour assuming you bill literally every minute of that extra 300 hours, which you aren't going to do. Couple that with everything else that sucks in BigLaw (e.g. that you will be billing said hours at 1 am) and it's really just not worth it.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:28 am

run26.2 wrote:
zweitbester wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I still cannot believe most firms don't give bonuses based on number of hours. Like 50-80 bucks for everything over 2000 hours and people would be going fucking nuts with billing.


Well, some (many? a lot of?) firms do.

The counterarguments have some weight though. It encourages inefficiency and/or padding and stands to foster a competitive rather than collaborative environment, especially when times are lean. It's also not always up to an associate how hard they work - junior lawyers aren't winning business and can only have so much say in the matters they get on and the pace at which that work comes.

My favorite rumor is that there are firms with ~STEALTH BONUSES~ for high billers. I've heard, through the grape vine (and if you know me, then no, it's not about my firm) that some firms will basically pick up the tab for an expensive vacation if you bill over X hours in the year. It's not cash and they're pretty serious about it being for R&R. Seems like a neat system to me.


I know one that gives a three-figure restaurant gift card if you exceed a certain number of hours in a month.

It's a lifestyle firm, ironically. I've billed more than the threshold ever since I've started...

I like that type of incentive, but it seems like a restaurant card would get old after awhile. How about just a prepaid spending card?


To be fair, it doesn't get old because associates rarely meet that threshold in a month.

run26.2
Posts: 897
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby run26.2 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I still cannot believe most firms don't give bonuses based on number of hours. Like 50-80 bucks for everything over 2000 hours and people would be going fucking nuts with billing.


Well, some (many? a lot of?) firms do.

The counterarguments have some weight though. It encourages inefficiency and/or padding and stands to foster a competitive rather than collaborative environment, especially when times are lean. It's also not always up to an associate how hard they work - junior lawyers aren't winning business and can only have so much say in the matters they get on and the pace at which that work comes.

My favorite rumor is that there are firms with ~STEALTH BONUSES~ for high billers. I've heard, through the grape vine (and if you know me, then no, it's not about my firm) that some firms will basically pick up the tab for an expensive vacation if you bill over X hours in the year. It's not cash and they're pretty serious about it being for R&R. Seems like a neat system to me.


I grew up broke and am still broke and it will be a while until I am not broke so I am not complaining and I realize that many people in the world have it much much worse -- however, the structure some (a lot of?) firms have where it's Cravath bonus at 2000 hours (fair enough), but then 10k for 2300 and 10k for 2500 is an absurdly weak (dis)incentive. That's $33 an hour assuming you bill literally every minute of that extra 300 hours, which you aren't going to do. Couple that with everything else that sucks in BigLaw (e.g. that you will be billing said hours at 1 am) and it's really just not worth it.

This is a fair argument regarding the short-term tradeoff. However, most people will say that to have any chance of making partner in biglaw (as if there is much of a chance), you need to be amassing high annual billable totals from the time you are a mid-level associate onward.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:25 am

Every year top law school tuition goes higher and base salaries do not adjust for inflation, the more of a losing proposition it is to do biglaw. There will be a massive correction, but not within our associate careers. This is the reality you should accept so for now. If it makes you unhappy, rather than whine for a solution, you should be thinking creatively about making one on your own.

Law students, by their nature, aren't that creative. That's why this whole system has existed for as long as it has and the big change is still a ways away.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:06 pm

^ probably exactly accurate.

My creative solution remains planning to drop out of society and blog about Ron Paul '08~~ from a cabin in the woods.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:22 pm

zweitbester wrote:Every year top law school tuition goes higher and base salaries do not adjust for inflation, the more of a losing proposition it is to do biglaw. There will be a massive correction, but not within our associate careers. This is the reality you should accept so for now. If it makes you unhappy, rather than whine for a solution, you should be thinking creatively about making one on your own.

Law students, by their nature, aren't that creative. That's why this whole system has existed for as long as it has and the big change is still a ways away.


Does starting a Subway franchise count as "creative"?

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:28 pm

Maybe biglaw salaries will be flat until it's no longer possible to get $5 footlongs?

legends159
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby legends159 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:13 pm

hm...apparently Cahill gave summer bonuses again this year ($10K). How come they don't get more recognition and coverage? wouldn't that shame the Cravaths of the world to up the ante a little more?

run26.2
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby run26.2 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:48 pm

zweitbester wrote:Every year top law school tuition goes higher and base salaries do not adjust for inflation, the more of a losing proposition it is to do biglaw. There will be a massive correction, but not within our associate careers. This is the reality you should accept so for now. If it makes you unhappy, rather than whine for a solution, you should be thinking creatively about making one on your own.

Law students, by their nature, aren't that creative. That's why this whole system has existed for as long as it has and the big change is still a ways away.

What do you mean by correction? Firms suddenly start paying more? I personally doubt that, but maybe you mean something else.

I would expect that a few would wander away from lockstep every year. But if anything, I think salaries will stratify, and flatten out the bimodal distribution somewhat. A few higher salary entry level positions will be created and many more positions below 160 will emerge.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Biglaw Bonus Watch (2013)

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:31 pm

run26.2 wrote:
zweitbester wrote:Every year top law school tuition goes higher and base salaries do not adjust for inflation, the more of a losing proposition it is to do biglaw. There will be a massive correction, but not within our associate careers. This is the reality you should accept so for now. If it makes you unhappy, rather than whine for a solution, you should be thinking creatively about making one on your own.

Law students, by their nature, aren't that creative. That's why this whole system has existed for as long as it has and the big change is still a ways away.

What do you mean by correction? Firms suddenly start paying more? I personally doubt that, but maybe you mean something else.

I would expect that a few would wander away from lockstep every year. But if anything, I think salaries will stratify, and flatten out the bimodal distribution somewhat. A few higher salary entry level positions will be created and many more positions below 160 will emerge.


Law firm salaries could still stay the same, but a huge correction in school tuition would still be considered a major raise.




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