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

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fats provolone
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby fats provolone » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:10 pm

if i were a law firm partner reading the last few pages i would reduce salaries

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:17 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.


You act like there's a wall of silence between partners and associates. There's not. Partners on the compensation committee talk to associates all the time. Associates AND partners at the vast majority of firms don't know what bonuses are going to be until the first market-setting NYC firm announces bonuses. For the vast majority of firms, it's that simple. They just follow the market--which happened to be set by Simpson this year.

The only attorneys who would have any useful insight whatsoever into what goes into bonus amounts beyond the typical "follow the market" principle would be attorneys at market-setting firms like DPW and Simpson. I'm not going to out myself as someone who works at a market-setting firm, but I can tell you that tuition costs are almost certainly NOT a factor that DPW and Simpson comp committee members had in mind when setting bonus amounts. Relevant factors may include things like associate attrition levels, average associate hours, raises given to associates at Wall Street banks, increases in M&A activity, rising rates, PPP, etc.

In short, the world doesn't revolve around law students. So stop acting like you know shit and STFU.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:20 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:In short, the world doesn't revolve around law students. So stop acting like you know shit and STFU.


This is a great summation of MO's entire MO.

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Cobretti
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Cobretti » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:28 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:The only attorneys who would have any useful insight whatsoever ... would be attorneys at market-setting firms like DPW and Simpson. I'm not ... someone who works at a market-setting firm, but I can tell you that tuition costs are almost certainly NOT a factor

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fats provolone
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby fats provolone » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:30 pm

sick burn bro

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thelawyler
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby thelawyler » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:39 pm

Yeah. There's no way tuition factors in. And anyone who thinks that working inside a company with partners doesn't expose you to a general feel about what firms care about is being dense.

With that said, I'm going to spout more bullshit.

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.


LOL. You have some of the poorest reasoning and reading skills on this site. The only argument was that the poor reputation and desperation of the legal industry may put downward pressure on prices. It was more of a market trend analysis regarding bargaining power at the hour-rate negotiating table (which of course I know nothing about).

You pretend as if this whole supply and demand curve is only relevant for law graduates looking for jobs. People rightfully argue that when loads of law students are desperate to get the few good jobs, firms can do whatever the fuck they want. Well if the news and all the public facts show that plenty of law firms are not doing well (using lack of salary raises and bonuses as a proxy for their hidden financials), then perhaps clients will feel they can get away with more. Would law firms put up with clients saying they won't pay for juniors if the law firms were so busy that they could say "fuck you" and go work on another multi-billion dollar deal in a heartbeat? Probably not. But clients know they can get away with more bc they know the legal market is not as robust as before. Supply and demand. The smaller classes, smaller bonuses, pay raise freezes, etc are all economic signs of this (even if PPP remains strong). Some firms are obviously exceptions. That's the base of my "argument" and because it is so speculative I'm not sold on it.

The part about raising salaries to combat this perception would be even shakier and that was not my argument at all. Hell, I didn't even claim that this was something compensation committees considered. Instead it was just some fun ways to muse about strategy going forward for firms. From where I'm at, it seems a lot of the premiums that Big Law firms charge has more to do with IMAGE/brand than actual substance (for example, the average hourly a 2nd year DPW associate charges is higher than many firms lower down the chain). Thus I was thinking of ways to possibly change the narrative of law firms that clients hear for the most elite firms. It is very possible they don't need it though.

Congrats on being terrible at seeing the issues. I would refuse to pay you too.
Last edited by thelawyler on Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:47 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 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.


You act like there's a wall of silence between partners and associates. There's not. Partners on the compensation committee talk to associates all the time. Associates AND partners at the vast majority of firms don't know what bonuses are going to be until the first market-setting NYC firm announces bonuses. For the vast majority of firms, it's that simple. They just follow the market--which happened to be set by Simpson this year.

The only attorneys who would have any useful insight whatsoever into what goes into bonus amounts beyond the typical "follow the market" principle would be attorneys at market-setting firms like DPW and Simpson. I'm not going to out myself as someone who works at a market-setting firm, but I can tell you that tuition costs are almost certainly NOT a factor that DPW and Simpson comp committee members had in mind when setting bonus amounts. Relevant factors may include things like associate attrition levels, average associate hours, raises given to associates at Wall Street banks, increases in M&A activity, rising rates, PPP, etc.

In short, the world doesn't revolve around law students. So stop acting like you know shit and STFU.


So you're saying nobody knows anything unless they talked to a partner at a market-leading firm? I agree. That's why "stop acting like you know shit" doesn't make any sense when you admit that the overwhelming majority of associates wouldn't know more on this particular issue than an observer who was paying attention.

P.S. I don't think tuition costs are a factor but agree that the other things may be.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:06 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 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.


You act like there's a wall of silence between partners and associates. There's not. Partners on the compensation committee talk to associates all the time. Associates AND partners at the vast majority of firms don't know what bonuses are going to be until the first market-setting NYC firm announces bonuses. For the vast majority of firms, it's that simple. They just follow the market--which happened to be set by Simpson this year.

The only attorneys who would have any useful insight whatsoever into what goes into bonus amounts beyond the typical "follow the market" principle would be attorneys at market-setting firms like DPW and Simpson. I'm not going to out myself as someone who works at a market-setting firm, but I can tell you that tuition costs are almost certainly NOT a factor that DPW and Simpson comp committee members had in mind when setting bonus amounts. Relevant factors may include things like associate attrition levels, average associate hours, raises given to associates at Wall Street banks, increases in M&A activity, rising rates, PPP, etc.

In short, the world doesn't revolve around law students. So stop acting like you know shit and STFU.


So you're saying nobody knows anything unless they talked to a partner at a market-leading firm? I agree. That's why "stop acting like you know shit" doesn't make any sense when you admit that the overwhelming majority of associates wouldn't know more on this particular issue than an observer who was paying attention.

P.S. I don't think tuition costs are a factor but agree that the other things may be.


My point was that I know exactly what compensation committee members at the vast majority of decent biglaw firms think about when setting bonuses: "What's the market?" That's all they think about. Period. So unless you're talking about one or two specific firms in NYC, the correct answer regarding whether tuition (or anything else) is a consideration is an emphatic "no."

I agree that it's unlikely that associates at market-setting firms would know much about the exact process that their firms use for setting bonuses, but I definitely wouldn't dismiss the notion that that they know something about the process as an absurdity (like you and others in this thread appear to be doing). I wouldn't be surprised at all if associates at Simpson and/or DPW heard rumblings about bonus increases and the reasons why from partners before bonuses were announced.

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Cobretti
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Cobretti » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:21 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:So unless you're talking about one or two specific firms in NYC, the correct answer regarding whether tuition (or anything else) is a consideration is an emphatic "no."

Those are the only firms anyone here has been talking about. This discussion has been about what the market leading firms will do.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:28 pm

Cobretti wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:So unless you're talking about one or two specific firms in NYC, the correct answer regarding whether tuition (or anything else) is a consideration is an emphatic "no."

Those are the only firms anyone here has been talking about. This discussion has been about what the market leading firms will do.

Nope. People have been talking about biglaw firms generally, for the most part.

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Cobretti
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Cobretti » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:29 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:So unless you're talking about one or two specific firms in NYC, the correct answer regarding whether tuition (or anything else) is a consideration is an emphatic "no."

Those are the only firms anyone here has been talking about. This discussion has been about what the market leading firms will do.

Nope. People have been talking about biglaw firms generally, for the most part.

No we haven't, read the discussion.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Cobretti wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:So unless you're talking about one or two specific firms in NYC, the correct answer regarding whether tuition (or anything else) is a consideration is an emphatic "no."

Those are the only firms anyone here has been talking about. This discussion has been about what the market leading firms will do.

Nope. People have been talking about biglaw firms generally, for the most part.

No we haven't, read the discussion.

I have. You're wrong.

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lonerider
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby lonerider » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:30 pm

v1-100. The OPEC of Manhattan.

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2014
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby 2014 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:30 pm

I actually think MO as been far more coherent in this thread than he normally is, gotta give little credit when it's due.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:41 pm

fats provolone wrote:if i were a law firm partner reading the last few pages i would reduce salaries

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:28 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
fats provolone wrote:if i were a law firm partner reading the last few pages i would reduce salaries


Hellz yeah
Last edited by Hutz_and_Goodman on Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fats provolone
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby fats provolone » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:08 pm

oh ok thanks for clearing that up. i thought law firm partners were vengeful wizards but looks like i was wrong

dissonance1848
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby dissonance1848 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:27 pm

I think biglaw will keep salaries flat and adjust bonuses, which are easier to take away. I just cannot see law firms raising salaries. They have a captive market of prospective employees (look how few law students get into banking, consulting, etc), these students have massive debts like indentured servants, and the legal economy continues to contract relative to the rest of the economy. I expect compensation to continue going lower, save for some niche IP and Lit firms, which want the very top, like Susman, and make enough that it doesn't effect them. If you have 30 associates or less at an elite lit boutique like Susman, you can bump up pay without hitting profits. When you have 300+ associates, it starts becoming real money.

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Actus Reus
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Actus Reus » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:35 pm

I would give back my bonus if it meant I could take back reading this thread

911 crisis actor
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby 911 crisis actor » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:42 pm

I am a biglaw partner and would be happy to take back the bonus of any associate who is unhappy after reading this thread. PM me for my paypal address.

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nothingtosee
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby nothingtosee » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:45 pm

nothingtosee wrote:So now that NYC to 190 is set in stone, how long til other markets follow suit?

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cookiejar1
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby cookiejar1 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:52 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:So now that NYC to 190 is set in stone, how long til other markets follow suit?


You're doing good work here. NYC to 190?!

run26.2
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby run26.2 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:50 pm

fats provolone wrote:if i were a law firm partner reading the last few pages i would reduce salaries

This made me laugh. You'd be punishing the wrong people, though... This thread would be better without the rampant speculation of what motivates firms to raise salaries by people who aren't attorneys at these firms.

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cookiejar1
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby cookiejar1 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:25 pm

GDC matched the old STB scale.

Is there gonna be two scales now? DPW and STB?

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/12/associat ... ssociates/

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Old Gregg
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Re: 2014 Biglaw Bonus Thread

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:40 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:GDC matched the old STB scale.

Is there gonna be two scales now? DPW and STB?

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/12/associat ... ssociates/


lol thats fucked up. i wonder what message that sends to its associates.




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