2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

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Bonuses will be _____ from last year

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Total votes: 102

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thelawyler
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby thelawyler » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:53 am

jbagelboy wrote:more than the actual numbers, the notion that salaries are not stagnant and that there's room for growth in compensation could impact people's decision in going to law school. If you're a financial analyst, a mid-tier strategy consultant, at a marketing company or coming off a decent MA degree, in 2010-2012 you probably considered law school and decided to put it off or look the other way if you were paying attention and did your homework. Three years later, if we see bonuses and then base salaries going up, I actually do think that momentum could impact ex ante decision making in the aggregate for some people in the work force and even college seniors debating career choices.

I hate to think of choosing a graduate program or career based so derivatively on income, but it's undeniably a factor; more pertinently, it's also what salary increases represent: opportunity, demand, ect. So I do think there's at least an indirect incentive for firms to adjust compensation to draw people into law school.


This. Also, it is a signal to the clients. The elite law schools are full of people who came from consulting, finance, etc before law school. The young analysts at those industries do look at law school as an alternative. But they also talk to each other while pondering of their future. If law as a career looks bleak, they'll tell each other not to go. And then they may tell their mentors and senior people what they found out, etc. Facts like "salaries have no gone up for a decade" looks bad and makes law firms look desperate. And if firms are desperate for business, then clients may start to think they can start negotiating down the hourly billing rate. They can refuse to pay for juniors. They can do all the sort of shit that you could do to a desperate firm.

Maybe I'm talking about of my ass. But surely the doom and gloom of the legal industry puts downward pressure on prices. One way for the elite firms to differentiate themselves may be to start paying more and create a two-tier big law industry - the newer normal - as a way to brand themselves as above the gloom. I'm just a student so what do I know though.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:30 am

Cobretti wrote:
PinkRevolver wrote:
Cobretti wrote:I'm saying it would be irrational for the recruitment and compensation committees at compensation leading firms to not be aware of these facts, and it seems ignorant to assume they're so out of touch that it wouldn't be a factor. I don't know why anyone not on those committees would care though.



A partner on the recruitment committee asked me about school tuition this summer during my SA (V50). When I told him the cost of sticker he was absolutely bewildered and said he would never have taken the chance at law in this job market climate. He thought we were crazy for being in school even though we had an SA because you don't even know if after you pass the hurdle of getting an SA if you'll get an offer afterwards (thank God I did). I don't really think tuition is something they keep up with or take into account when determining salary/bonuses.

Sorry, fixed. The point is there are people who are in a position to realistically change base compensation that are aware of the market conditions of their pool of applicants, and will consider it because it would be irrational not to.


How do you know this? You're just spouting stuff out of your ass and expecting us all to believe you. Do you actually practice law in a biglaw firm? Your suggestion that *anyone* at a biglaw firm would care at all about the price of law school goes against everything I have heard/experienced at my firm.

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Desert Fox
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:35 am

BigZuck wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Up until this bonus season there was a real worry that biglaw salaries would just continue to erode away from inflation. Hell, I still don't believe we'll see a payscale raise. And if we did, I think it would be limited to NYC and maybe Texas.


Kind of tangential, but DF, why do you think it might rise in Texas but not, say, DC or Chicago or LA? Is it just based on the Texas market being "hot" or whatever? To me the flip side is that COL is so low compared to other markets there is no reason to raise it because associates are already doing better money-wise but you guys know way more about this stuff than I do.

Not trying to argue, just curious what made you say/think that?


I've heard about huge singing bonuses for going to Texas to do O&G work. Maybe its exaggerated and maybe OPEC not cutting prodcution will fuck that market.

mvp99
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby mvp99 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:22 am

Texas boom will be over soon (OPEC + energy in general less profitable)

Anonymous User
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:03 am

Desert Fox wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Up until this bonus season there was a real worry that biglaw salaries would just continue to erode away from inflation. Hell, I still don't believe we'll see a payscale raise. And if we did, I think it would be limited to NYC and maybe Texas.


Kind of tangential, but DF, why do you think it might rise in Texas but not, say, DC or Chicago or LA? Is it just based on the Texas market being "hot" or whatever? To me the flip side is that COL is so low compared to other markets there is no reason to raise it because associates are already doing better money-wise but you guys know way more about this stuff than I do.

Not trying to argue, just curious what made you say/think that?


I've heard about huge singing bonuses for going to Texas to do O&G work. Maybe its exaggerated and maybe OPEC not cutting prodcution will fuck that market.


Far exaggerated. There are a few shops in Houston that do this but most Texas offices do not even match Cravath/Simpson/DPW/whoever on bonuses. Sure, Skadden Houston does (along with some other microsatellites), but the TX based firms and carpetbaggers with larger outposts historically do not.

Many TX firms also feature two-tier salary scales where associates only receive NY style bumps if they hit their billables requirement.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:27 am

If c/o 2016 walks in at the post-recession nadir of the T14 admissions market and walks out at the post-recession peak, or close to it, of the Biglaw market, I mean...somebody somewhere must've tied a four-leaf clover to a rabbit's foot. The only thing left to ask for is that when the next violent recession comes and we're all Lathamed, that it be at least four or five years away so we'll have time to pay back the debt.

I feel bad for c/o 2007-2012 who were fired/never hired in the first place through no fault of their own, and who I'm sure would jump at the chance to get (back) into Biglaw if anyone bothered to call them, but I guess with increasing class sizes they're just gonna be the lost boys. In the end it's a zero-sum game though.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:42 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
2014 wrote:Maybe whichever firm does jack it up might want to go a little too high to try and stop lower ranked competitors from matching though. Most firms at 160 would probably be fine going to 170, but if you jump it straight to 190 it's more likely you create two mainstream tiers of pay within major markets (and maybe the more prestigious firms want this)

The big dogs could have done this at any time, and it might have worked around 2011 when they were doing better and things looked really dicey for firms below the top tier. But I just don't think the top firms care at all about competing with lower ranked firms. Until Cravath starts losing people to Hughes Hubbard it doesn't need to.


CR. Law students have proven time and again that they only care about prestige. Compensation doesn't correlate particular well with how likely a student is to choose a particular firm. If it did, people wouldn't be turning down Kirkland to go to Skadden. Or turning down Cahill to go to Sidley. Or turning down any Houston offer to take almost any NYC offer. Hell, Duval has been paying $175k for years based on this theory that it would differentiate them from everyone else. Precisely no one appears to have given a shit; a solid chunk of students are not aware they exist.

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Br3v
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Br3v » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:21 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:If c/o 2016 walks in at the post-recession nadir of the T14 admissions market and walks out at the post-recession peak, or close to it, of the Biglaw market, I mean...somebody somewhere must've tied a four-leaf clover to a rabbit's foot. The only thing left to ask for is that when the next violent recession comes and we're all Lathamed, that it be at least four or five years away so we'll have time to pay back the debt.

I feel bad for c/o 2007-2012 who were fired/never hired in the first place through no fault of their own, and who I'm sure would jump at the chance to get (back) into Biglaw if anyone bothered to call them, but I guess with increasing class sizes they're just gonna be the lost boys. In the end it's a zero-sum game though.


I think about this all the time. Add on the fact that many of the 07-12 generation may not be PAYE eligible (I'll defer to DF as to whether Congress ever fixed that)

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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:34 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:If c/o 2016 walks in at the post-recession nadir of the T14 admissions market and walks out at the post-recession peak, or close to it, of the Biglaw market, I mean...somebody somewhere must've tied a four-leaf clover to a rabbit's foot. The only thing left to ask for is that when the next violent recession comes and we're all Lathamed, that it be at least four or five years away so we'll have time to pay back the debt.

Cripes. At least knock on wood or something.

Oh, sorry this was MCFC. Didn't mean to be anon.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:04 pm

Are people ITT seriously claiming that firms will raise salaries to induce people to go to law school?! JFC.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:If c/o 2016 walks in at the post-recession nadir of the T14 admissions market and walks out at the post-recession peak, or close to it, of the Biglaw market, I mean...somebody somewhere must've tied a four-leaf clover to a rabbit's foot. The only thing left to ask for is that when the next violent recession comes and we're all Lathamed, that it be at least four or five years away so we'll have time to pay back the debt.

Cripes. At least knock on wood or something.


*sticks another pin in the Bob Dell voodoo doll*

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:34 pm

The input from students and prospective students in this thread is really valuable, thanks.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:39 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:The input from students and prospective students in this thread is really valuable, thanks.


The thread's an avenue for speculation about what decisions small groups of partners might make. Not sure a midlevel is gonna have significantly more to contribute than a 0L.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:47 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:The input from students and prospective students in this thread is really valuable, thanks.


The thread's an avenue for speculation about what decisions small groups of partners might make. Not sure a midlevel is gonna have significantly more to contribute than a 0L.


Alternatively, it's an avenue where retards remove all doubt about their knowledge of anything.

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Desert Fox
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:49 pm

Midlevels have 4-6 years of experience living in the poor management and leadership of biglaw.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:49 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:The input from students and prospective students in this thread is really valuable, thanks.


The thread's an avenue for speculation about what decisions small groups of partners might make. Not sure a midlevel is gonna have significantly more to contribute than a 0L.


LOL


timbs4339
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:59 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:The input from students and prospective students in this thread is really valuable, thanks.


I like that it's been a seamless melding of the kind of Econ 101 rational actor oversimplication you see on Fox News and the naivete of youth. They just have to raise salaries because incentives!

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:20 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:The input from students and prospective students in this thread is really valuable, thanks.


I like that it's been a seamless melding of the kind of Econ 101 rational actor oversimplication you see on Fox News and the naivete of youth. They just have to raise salaries because incentives!


This is a straw man. No one said a January bump was a done deal. But history and some basic business principles would say it's possible. Simpson and DPW didn't raise bonuses out of the goodness of their hearts.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:24 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Midlevels have 4-6 years of experience living in the poor management and leadership of biglaw.


They also know precisely jack shit about what bonuses are going to be, just like the rest of us. This is an arena where nobody is hazarding anything more than a guess.

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Old Gregg
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:29 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Midlevels have 4-6 years of experience living in the poor management and leadership of biglaw.


They also know precisely jack shit about what bonuses are going to be, just like the rest of us. This is an arena where nobody is hazarding anything more than a guess.


We probably know a bit more than you do, but agreed that in the end that that knowledge is useless (even though it's still more useful than one you've got).

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FSK
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby FSK » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:43 pm

I know I'm stupid and I only shitpost. You don't have to tell me.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:47 pm

zweitbester wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Midlevels have 4-6 years of experience living in the poor management and leadership of biglaw.


They also know precisely jack shit about what bonuses are going to be, just like the rest of us. This is an arena where nobody is hazarding anything more than a guess.


We probably know a bit more than you do, but agreed that in the end that that knowledge is useless (even though it's still more useful than one you've got).


I defer to associates when the subject matter is something an associate would be reasonably be appraised of that the general public wouldn't. If I present a piece of information as true, it's either public domain or firsthand from someone in Biglaw. The rest is speculation, I take care to present it as such, and if it's off-base please point it out.

I agree that associates have some useful information that students don't have--you have a good sense of how busy everyone's been and what the scuttlebutt is on how a good a year your firm has had. I just don't know whether it's all that determinative in trying to guess bonuses/base salaries in the future.

westphillybandr
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby westphillybandr » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:02 pm

thelawyler wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:more than the actual numbers, the notion that salaries are not stagnant and that there's room for growth in compensation could impact people's decision in going to law school. If you're a financial analyst, a mid-tier strategy consultant, at a marketing company or coming off a decent MA degree, in 2010-2012 you probably considered law school and decided to put it off or look the other way if you were paying attention and did your homework. Three years later, if we see bonuses and then base salaries going up, I actually do think that momentum could impact ex ante decision making in the aggregate for some people in the work force and even college seniors debating career choices.

I hate to think of choosing a graduate program or career based so derivatively on income, but it's undeniably a factor; more pertinently, it's also what salary increases represent: opportunity, demand, ect. So I do think there's at least an indirect incentive for firms to adjust compensation to draw people into law school.


This. Also, it is a signal to the clients. The elite law schools are full of people who came from consulting, finance, etc before law school. The young analysts at those industries do look at law school as an alternative. But they also talk to each other while pondering of their future. If law as a career looks bleak, they'll tell each other not to go. And then they may tell their mentors and senior people what they found out, etc. Facts like "salaries have no gone up for a decade" looks bad and makes law firms look desperate. And if firms are desperate for business, then clients may start to think they can start negotiating down the hourly billing rate. They can refuse to pay for juniors. They can do all the sort of shit that you could do to a desperate firm.

Maybe I'm talking about of my ass. But surely the doom and gloom of the legal industry puts downward pressure on prices. One way for the elite firms to differentiate themselves may be to start paying more and create a two-tier big law industry - the newer normal - as a way to brand themselves as above the gloom. I'm just a student so what do I know though.


So firms will pay their junior associates more to be more attractive to clients? The same clients you say are unwilling to pay for junior associates? This is one of the poorest arguments I have read on this site. And that is a low bar.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:08 pm

westphillybandr wrote:
thelawyler wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:more than the actual numbers, the notion that salaries are not stagnant and that there's room for growth in compensation could impact people's decision in going to law school. If you're a financial analyst, a mid-tier strategy consultant, at a marketing company or coming off a decent MA degree, in 2010-2012 you probably considered law school and decided to put it off or look the other way if you were paying attention and did your homework. Three years later, if we see bonuses and then base salaries going up, I actually do think that momentum could impact ex ante decision making in the aggregate for some people in the work force and even college seniors debating career choices.

I hate to think of choosing a graduate program or career based so derivatively on income, but it's undeniably a factor; more pertinently, it's also what salary increases represent: opportunity, demand, ect. So I do think there's at least an indirect incentive for firms to adjust compensation to draw people into law school.


This. Also, it is a signal to the clients. The elite law schools are full of people who came from consulting, finance, etc before law school. The young analysts at those industries do look at law school as an alternative. But they also talk to each other while pondering of their future. If law as a career looks bleak, they'll tell each other not to go. And then they may tell their mentors and senior people what they found out, etc. Facts like "salaries have no gone up for a decade" looks bad and makes law firms look desperate. And if firms are desperate for business, then clients may start to think they can start negotiating down the hourly billing rate. They can refuse to pay for juniors. They can do all the sort of shit that you could do to a desperate firm.

Maybe I'm talking about of my ass. But surely the doom and gloom of the legal industry puts downward pressure on prices. One way for the elite firms to differentiate themselves may be to start paying more and create a two-tier big law industry - the newer normal - as a way to brand themselves as above the gloom. I'm just a student so what do I know though.


So firms will pay their junior associates more to be more attractive to clients? The same clients you say are unwilling to pay for junior associates? This is one of the poorest arguments I have read on this site. And that is a low bar.


It's not an awful argument. If clients refused to pay for juniors because the juniors are shitty, a firm might be willing to pay extra for non-shitty juniors. I don't agree with the premises, but it's a perfectly coherent argument.




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