2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

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Bonuses will be _____ from last year

Up
62
61%
Unchanged
34
33%
Down
6
6%
 
Total votes: 102

GOATlawman
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby GOATlawman » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:26 pm

Do these bumps usually hit all market-paying markets immediately? Or do west coast markets lag behind by a year, or set their own bonus structure, or something else?

I would imagine STB's bonus would be in their CA offices, so other CA firms without NY offices would have to match it, right? RIGHT?

Anonymous User
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:31 pm

GOATlawman wrote:Do these bumps usually hit all market-paying markets immediately? Or do west coast markets lag behind by a year, or set their own bonus structure, or something else?

I would imagine STB's bonus would be in their CA offices, so other CA firms without NY offices would have to match it, right? RIGHT?


STB's bonuses are paid the same everywhere. But their presence in LA, DC and Houston is small--doubtful that they have much impact there. Maybe SF/SV, where their presence is a bit larger.

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Desert Fox
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
GOATlawman wrote:Do these bumps usually hit all market-paying markets immediately? Or do west coast markets lag behind by a year, or set their own bonus structure, or something else?

I would imagine STB's bonus would be in their CA offices, so other CA firms without NY offices would have to match it, right? RIGHT?


STB's bonuses are paid the same everywhere. But their presence in LA, DC and Houston is small--doubtful that they have much impact there. Maybe SF/SV, where their presence is a bit larger.


But most LA and DC firms have large NYC offices too. If Cravath follows, most market firms will match. At least the ones who normally do. The firms that don't normally match bonuses, still probably won't. I just hope Cravath doesn't fucking cheap out.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:43 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
GOATlawman wrote:Do these bumps usually hit all market-paying markets immediately? Or do west coast markets lag behind by a year, or set their own bonus structure, or something else?

I would imagine STB's bonus would be in their CA offices, so other CA firms without NY offices would have to match it, right? RIGHT?


STB's bonuses are paid the same everywhere. But their presence in LA, DC and Houston is small--doubtful that they have much impact there. Maybe SF/SV, where their presence is a bit larger.


But most LA and DC firms have large NYC offices too. If Cravath follows, most market firms will match. At least the ones who normally do. The firms that don't normally match bonuses, still probably won't. I just hope Cravath doesn't fucking cheap out.


At least one of Cravath and S&C is likely to follow. Once one of those firms follow, everyone else will follow.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
GOATlawman wrote:Do these bumps usually hit all market-paying markets immediately? Or do west coast markets lag behind by a year, or set their own bonus structure, or something else?

I would imagine STB's bonus would be in their CA offices, so other CA firms without NY offices would have to match it, right? RIGHT?


STB's bonuses are paid the same everywhere. But their presence in LA, DC and Houston is small--doubtful that they have much impact there. Maybe SF/SV, where their presence is a bit larger.


But most LA and DC firms have large NYC offices too. If Cravath follows, most market firms will match. At least the ones who normally do. The firms that don't normally match bonuses, still probably won't. I just hope Cravath doesn't fucking cheap out.


At least one of Cravath and S&C is likely to follow. Once one of those firms follow, everyone else will follow.


This.

911 crisis actor
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby 911 crisis actor » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:50 pm

(Everybody forgets 2008)

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Desert Fox
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:53 pm

911 crisis actor wrote:(Everybody forgets 2008)


explain urself

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:00 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
911 crisis actor wrote:(Everybody forgets 2008)


explain urself

Skadden raised bonuses in 2008 but then Cravath didn't match (and then no one else did)

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Desert Fox
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:03 pm

cusenation wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
911 crisis actor wrote:(Everybody forgets 2008)


explain urself

Skadden raised bonuses in 2008 but then Cravath didn't match (and then no one else did)


Just read about this.

Skadden didn't raise, they actually lowered by not including a "special bonus." Trying to set the bonus level lower than 2007 before someone else set it higher. And then Cravath set it even lower.

But that was 2 months after Lehman went bankrupt and the financial industry was seized up. Totally different story than year after year of PPP growth while bonuses are terrible.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:51 pm

Can anyone more in the know than me confirm that STB is having another record-breaking year?

Any firm who expects to be taken seriously come OCI next year had better match this.

As has been said, 2008 was an anomaly. The bottom is not falling out. I'd guess the usual suspects will match. Further down the Vault list it gets dicier, but here's hoping.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:54 pm

Cravath, DPW, S&C - heres to a bidding war.

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Old Gregg
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:59 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Can anyone more in the know than me confirm that STB is having another record-breaking year?

Any firm who expects to be taken seriously come OCI next year had better match this.

As has been said, 2008 was an anomaly. The bottom is not falling out. I'd guess the usual suspects will match. Further down the Vault list it gets dicier, but here's hoping.


The usual suspects will match. Cravath, Skadden, DPW, etc. have all made dumb arguments for why they shouldn't match Boies, Desmairais, K&E, Cahill, Susman, etc. (i.e., they're not "peer" firms or "we don't compete with them for talent" or "we are more prestigious), but there's literally noe excuse for not matching Simpson.

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Old Gregg
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:16 pm

If anyone wanted solid evidence that base raises might be on the horizon, this is clearest evidence of it. I can see salaries going to $170k + $7.5k bonus (lowest first year bonus during recession). But, like the bonuses this year, salary increases would be most felt at the midlevel to senior associate levels.

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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:28 pm

zweitbester wrote:If anyone wanted solid evidence that base raises might be on the horizon, this is clearest evidence of it. I can see salaries going to $170k + $7.5k bonus (lowest first year bonus during recession). But, like the bonuses this year, salary increases would be most felt at the midlevel to senior associate levels.


I don't think bonuses can drop year-over-year without significant negative economic news. If you look at the chart on the first page, bonuses have only dropped in four of the past fourteen years, 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2009, all of which were recession years where firms had a clear reason for cutting bonuses. Barring another recession, bonuses can only go up or stay flat because of the bad PR from reducing bonuses. If base salaries do go up in the next couple of years, I would expect bonuses to stay flat that same year (unless the market seriously heats up) but definitely not decline. In 2004 and in 2007, base salaries and bonuses both went up in the same year--not likely in the near-term as the market is not so hot as it was in 2007, but the high end of the legal market is close to 2007 levels of activity and above it at some firms (including STB).

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:44 pm


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Desert Fox
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
zweitbester wrote:If anyone wanted solid evidence that base raises might be on the horizon, this is clearest evidence of it. I can see salaries going to $170k + $7.5k bonus (lowest first year bonus during recession). But, like the bonuses this year, salary increases would be most felt at the midlevel to senior associate levels.


I don't think bonuses can drop year-over-year without significant negative economic news. If you look at the chart on the first page, bonuses have only dropped in four of the past fourteen years, 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2009, all of which were recession years where firms had a clear reason for cutting bonuses. Barring another recession, bonuses can only go up or stay flat because of the bad PR from reducing bonuses. If base salaries do go up in the next couple of years, I would expect bonuses to stay flat that same year (unless the market seriously heats up) but definitely not decline. In 2004 and in 2007, base salaries and bonuses both went up in the same year--not likely in the near-term as the market is not so hot as it was in 2007, but the high end of the legal market is close to 2007 levels of activity and above it at some firms (including STB).


I think firms could get away with cutting bonuses while raising salaries, as long as all in comp stays the same or better. In fact, I would welcome it. Bonuses are much more easily cut.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:49 pm

zweitbester wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Can anyone more in the know than me confirm that STB is having another record-breaking year?

Any firm who expects to be taken seriously come OCI next year had better match this.

As has been said, 2008 was an anomaly. The bottom is not falling out. I'd guess the usual suspects will match. Further down the Vault list it gets dicier, but here's hoping.


The usual suspects will match. Cravath, Skadden, DPW, etc. have all made dumb arguments for why they shouldn't match Boies, Desmairais, K&E, Cahill, Susman, etc. (i.e., they're not "peer" firms or "we don't compete with them for talent" or "we are more prestigious), but there's literally noe excuse for not matching Simpson.


Yeah, I don't see the logical argument for differentiating Simpson from Kirkland from Cravath's end, with the all-important exception of feeling more threatened by Simpson.

I don't know if Cravath would need an excuse to not match, though. Cahill and Kirkland have been offering the ONE THING that materially sets them apart and the OCI market has appeared to place a value on it of precisely jack shit. See e.g. the retardation of "Cahill is too TTT, I'm going to Quinn." Regardless of what Cravath does, they'll still be lapped up by law students like the dogs that they are.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Cravath, DPW, S&C - heres to a bidding war.


DPW has never been in the game. The only ones who have led are Cravath, S&C, and STB.

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Doritos
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Doritos » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:53 pm


Anonymous User
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath, DPW, S&C - heres to a bidding war.


DPW has never been in the game. The only ones who have led are Cravath, S&C, and STB.


If you include S&C, you have to include Skadden. But realistically it's just Cravath and STB. S&C has never pushed the boundaries in the same way--their inching-up of bonuses in 2011 hardly counts.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:58 pm



IMO the most important match will be the first firm with a PPP under $2M.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cravath, DPW, S&C - heres to a bidding war.


DPW has never been in the game. The only ones who have led are Cravath, S&C, and STB.


If you include S&C, you have to include Skadden. But realistically it's just Cravath and STB. S&C has never pushed the boundaries in the same way--their inching-up of bonuses in 2011 hardly counts.


S&C was the firm that pushed the market to $145000 before STB pushed it to $160000. Cravath, S&C, and STB are the only firms that have tried to take leads that other firms actually followed. Firms didn't follow Skadden when it tried to lead; DPW never tried to lead.

WhirledWorld
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby WhirledWorld » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:06 pm

Paul, Weiss matching basically eliminates the possibly of other NYC firms not matching (i.e. this isn't 2008) or a bidding war starting.

Clearly this is the new market bonus level. Firms that currently match the STB associate compensation structure will be expected to fall in line or admit not being peers with STB or PW.

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:08 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:Paul, Weiss matching basically eliminates the possibly of other NYC firms not matching (i.e. this isn't 2008) or a bidding war starting.

Clearly this is the new market bonus level. Firms that currently match the STB associate compensation structure will be expected to fall in line or admit not being peers with STB or PW.

Any thoughts on other markets like Chicago/DC?

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Desert Fox
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:14 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:Paul, Weiss matching basically eliminates the possibly of other NYC firms not matching (i.e. this isn't 2008) or a bidding war starting.

Clearly this is the new market bonus level. Firms that currently match the STB associate compensation structure will be expected to fall in line or admit not being peers with STB or PW.


Yea I don't see how V20 firms avoid this now.




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