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Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:06 pm

[Post Updated to Reflect Answered Questions]

I am wondering if anyone can confirm two things I just heard about Kirkland & Ellis bonuses:

(1) First, unlike most firms, K&E does not pay out prorated year-end bonuses during your stub year (the year you graduate from law school). So associates don't get their first bonus until the end of the first full calendar year at the firm, which is like 15 months after actually starting.
barkmittman wrote: Kirkland pays a $10,000 summer stipend. It does not pay stub bonuses.
(2) The billing year goes from summer to summer (not sure of date) which means that, even after that 15 months, associates still only get a prorated bonus? Basically, a 2015 graduate would have gotten no bonus two months ago and, this coming Christmas, will get only 75% of the market-shattering band KE touts everywhere, since presumably associates only worked for 75% of the billing period (that is, from October 2015 through June 2016 or whatever).
barkmittman wrote: The billable year is 9/1-8/31. Bonuses based on that billable year are paid at the end of December. In your first full year after your stub year, your hours are prorated for the purpose of your hours-based bonus component, but the bonus amount itself is not prorated; it is, on average, 1.01-1.50x market.
Is this right??

I thought for sure that ATL or someone would have reported on this if true. Seems pretty BS from the firm that claims to be shattering everything. Can anyone confirm/deny/clarify?

[ETA: Thanks to barkmittman for chiming in with helpful answers!]
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rpupkin

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by rpupkin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:12 pm

I don't work at Kirkland, but I'm 100% sure you're wrong about #2. Kirkland's billing year goes from December to December. A first year would a full bonus at the end of their first full year. (I don't know what Kirkland's stub-year policy is.)

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:12 pm

Going to be working there soon. I feel like someone would have mentioned this ridiculousness, Interested to hear if this is true. also hoping that someone who knows this information could comment on what their policies are like for law students? Do you get a bar stipend and then a first year bonus also?

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:16 pm

rpupkin wrote:I don't work at Kirkland, but I'm 100% sure you're wrong about #2. Kirkland's billing year goes from December to December. A first year would a full bonus at the end of their first full year. (I don't know what Kirkland's stub-year policy is.)
Original OP here: That would be a relief. It's one thing to not do a stub year bonus since they offer a bar stipend. But the prorating the next bonus like that seems completely cheap. Thanks for chiming in. I hope someone else can offer first hand confirmation.

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rpupkin

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by rpupkin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't work at Kirkland, but I'm 100% sure you're wrong about #2. Kirkland's billing year goes from December to December. A first year would a full bonus at the end of their first full year. (I don't know what Kirkland's stub-year policy is.)
Original OP here: That would be a relief. It's one thing to not do a stub year bonus since they offer a bar stipend. But the prorating the next bonus like that seems completely cheap. Thanks for chiming in. I hope someone else can offer first hand confirmation.
And just to be clear on how I know: I have close friends who work at Kirkland, and they all receive their bonuses in December every year. Unless Kirkland recently announced some bizarre "Annual Bonuses Will Now be in June!" announcement (which would make no sense for a number of reasons), I think you can be confident that the firm pays annual bonuses in December.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:30 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't work at Kirkland, but I'm 100% sure you're wrong about #2. Kirkland's billing year goes from December to December. A first year would a full bonus at the end of their first full year. (I don't know what Kirkland's stub-year policy is.)
Original OP here: That would be a relief. It's one thing to not do a stub year bonus since they offer a bar stipend. But the prorating the next bonus like that seems completely cheap. Thanks for chiming in. I hope someone else can offer first hand confirmation.
And just to be clear on how I know: I have close friends who work at Kirkland, and they all receive their bonuses in December every year. Unless Kirkland recently announced some bizarre "Annual Bonuses Will Now be in June!" announcement (which would make no sense for a number of reasons), I think you can be confident that the firm pays annual bonuses in December.
Original Op here: No, I'm not saying they get the bonuses in the summer; just that the bonuses are based on the billing period that ends in the summer. So after the fiscal year ends in june or whatever, people have to wait six months for their bonuses. Which means that our fictional first year graduates in May 2015, starts at Kirkland in October of 2015 (three months into the fiscal year), finishes the fiscal year in June 2016, and then waits until December 2016 to get a 75% bonus (since she missed working July-October of 2015). See what I'm saying?

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rpupkin

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by rpupkin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Original Op here: No, I'm not saying they get the bonuses in the summer; just that the bonuses are based on the billing period that ends in the summer. So after the fiscal year ends in june or whatever, people have to wait six months for their bonuses. Which means that our fictional first year graduates in May 2015, starts at Kirkland in October of 2015 (three months into the fiscal year), finishes the fiscal year in June 2016, and then waits until December 2016 to get a 75% bonus (since she missed working July-October of 2015). See what I'm saying?
Where did you hear this? I've never heard of any firm doing this. The closest you get is a couple of firms who pay bonuses in January or February based on the previous calendar year's billing.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:48 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Original Op here: No, I'm not saying they get the bonuses in the summer; just that the bonuses are based on the billing period that ends in the summer. So after the fiscal year ends in june or whatever, people have to wait six months for their bonuses. Which means that our fictional first year graduates in May 2015, starts at Kirkland in October of 2015 (three months into the fiscal year), finishes the fiscal year in June 2016, and then waits until December 2016 to get a 75% bonus (since she missed working July-October of 2015). See what I'm saying?
Where did you hear this? I've never heard of any firm doing this. The closest you get is a couple of firms who pay bonuses in January or February based on the previous calendar year's billing.
I heard it from a classmate who talked with a K&E associate a few months ago.

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almondjoy

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by almondjoy » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:48 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't work at Kirkland, but I'm 100% sure you're wrong about #2. Kirkland's billing year goes from December to December. A first year would a full bonus at the end of their first full year. (I don't know what Kirkland's stub-year policy is.)
Original OP here: That would be a relief. It's one thing to not do a stub year bonus since they offer a bar stipend. But the prorating the next bonus like that seems completely cheap. Thanks for chiming in. I hope someone else can offer first hand confirmation.
And just to be clear on how I know: I have close friends who work at Kirkland, and they all receive their bonuses in December every year. Unless Kirkland recently announced some bizarre "Annual Bonuses Will Now be in June!" announcement (which would make no sense for a number of reasons), I think you can be confident that the firm pays annual bonuses in December.
OP isn't saying that Kirkland pays bonuses in June, he/she's saying that they calculate bonuses based on billing numbers from June to June and pay that bonus in December.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by barkmittman » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:59 pm

almondjoy wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't work at Kirkland, but I'm 100% sure you're wrong about #2. Kirkland's billing year goes from December to December. A first year would a full bonus at the end of their first full year. (I don't know what Kirkland's stub-year policy is.)
Original OP here: That would be a relief. It's one thing to not do a stub year bonus since they offer a bar stipend. But the prorating the next bonus like that seems completely cheap. Thanks for chiming in. I hope someone else can offer first hand confirmation.
And just to be clear on how I know: I have close friends who work at Kirkland, and they all receive their bonuses in December every year. Unless Kirkland recently announced some bizarre "Annual Bonuses Will Now be in June!" announcement (which would make no sense for a number of reasons), I think you can be confident that the firm pays annual bonuses in December.
OP isn't saying that Kirkland pays bonuses in June, he/she's saying that they calculate bonuses based on billing numbers from June to June and pay that bonus in December.
Time for some facts:

Kirkland pays a $10,000 summer stipend. It does not pay stub bonuses. The billable year is 9/1-8/31. Bonuses based on that billable year are paid at the end of December. In your first full year after your stub year, your hours are prorated for the purpose of your hours-based bonus component, but the bonus amount itself is not prorated; it is, on average, 1.01-1.50x market.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:05 pm

barkmittman wrote: Time for some facts:

Kirkland pays a $10,000 summer stipend. It does not pay stub bonuses. The billable year is 9/1-8/31. Bonuses based on that billable year are paid at the end of December. In your first full year after your stub year, your hours are prorated for the purpose of your hours-based bonus component, but the bonus amount itself is not prorated; it is, on average, 1.01-1.50x market.
OP here (or OOP, as I just realized I've been saying):

Two questions:

(1) When you say your hours are prorated but not your bonus, do you mean that if you bill 2000 hours in 10 months then the hours component of your bonus will reflect a 2400 billable-hour year? If so, that is great news.

(2) Do you mind confirming how you know this? Do you work at Kirkland? If so, I'll update my original post to reflect the "facts" so my questions don't mislead people in the future.

Thanks!

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
barkmittman wrote: Time for some facts:

Kirkland pays a $10,000 summer stipend. It does not pay stub bonuses. The billable year is 9/1-8/31. Bonuses based on that billable year are paid at the end of December. In your first full year after your stub year, your hours are prorated for the purpose of your hours-based bonus component, but the bonus amount itself is not prorated; it is, on average, 1.01-1.50x market.
OP here (or OOP, as I just realized I've been saying):

Two questions:

(1) When you say your hours are prorated but not your bonus, do you mean that if you bill 2000 hours in 10 months then the hours component of your bonus will reflect a 2400 billable-hour year? If so, that is great news.

(2) Do you mind confirming how you know this? Do you work at Kirkland? If so, I'll update my original post to reflect the "facts" so my questions don't mislead people in the future.

Thanks!
(1) Correct.

(2) I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Any other questions?

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
OP here (or OOP, as I just realized I've been saying):

Two questions:

(1) When you say your hours are prorated but not your bonus, do you mean that if you bill 2000 hours in 10 months then the hours component of your bonus will reflect a 2400 billable-hour year? If so, that is great news.

(2) Do you mind confirming how you know this? Do you work at Kirkland? If so, I'll update my original post to reflect the "facts" so my questions don't mislead people in the future.

Thanks!
(1) Correct.

(2) I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Any other questions?
Really helpful. Thanks!

Any insight into how the hours and merit components are weighted?

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by bdubs » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:36 pm

FYI - A $10k stipend is better than a $10k loan and a proration of a $15k bonus (NYC standard). Not sure why this would bother you.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
OP here (or OOP, as I just realized I've been saying):

Two questions:

(1) When you say your hours are prorated but not your bonus, do you mean that if you bill 2000 hours in 10 months then the hours component of your bonus will reflect a 2400 billable-hour year? If so, that is great news.

(2) Do you mind confirming how you know this? Do you work at Kirkland? If so, I'll update my original post to reflect the "facts" so my questions don't mislead people in the future.

Thanks!
(1) Correct.

(2) I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Any other questions?
Really helpful. Thanks!

Any insight into how the hours and merit components are weighted?
Depends on the person. Generally merit slightly more than hours, I suspect.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:37 am

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Original Op here: No, I'm not saying they get the bonuses in the summer; just that the bonuses are based on the billing period that ends in the summer. So after the fiscal year ends in june or whatever, people have to wait six months for their bonuses. Which means that our fictional first year graduates in May 2015, starts at Kirkland in October of 2015 (three months into the fiscal year), finishes the fiscal year in June 2016, and then waits until December 2016 to get a 75% bonus (since she missed working July-October of 2015). See what I'm saying?
Where did you hear this? I've never heard of any firm doing this. The closest you get is a couple of firms who pay bonuses in January or February based on the previous calendar year's billing.
I work at another large Chicago-based firm that uses a November 1-October 31 billable year and pays bonuses out at the end of December.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Original Op here: No, I'm not saying they get the bonuses in the summer; just that the bonuses are based on the billing period that ends in the summer. So after the fiscal year ends in june or whatever, people have to wait six months for their bonuses. Which means that our fictional first year graduates in May 2015, starts at Kirkland in October of 2015 (three months into the fiscal year), finishes the fiscal year in June 2016, and then waits until December 2016 to get a 75% bonus (since she missed working July-October of 2015). See what I'm saying?
Where did you hear this? I've never heard of any firm doing this. The closest you get is a couple of firms who pay bonuses in January or February based on the previous calendar year's billing.
I work at another large Chicago-based firm that uses a November 1-October 31 billable year and pays bonuses out at the end of December.
can you say where?

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:48 am

Can someone tell me if first years at Kirkland and summer associates at Kirkland get their own offices?

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:49 pm

At least in Chicago (and I'm 99% sure elsewhere) Kirkland summers and first years get their own offices.

Most incoming first years in Chicago do PILI which comes with a $25K stipend during bar study.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
OP here (or OOP, as I just realized I've been saying):

Two questions:

(1) When you say your hours are prorated but not your bonus, do you mean that if you bill 2000 hours in 10 months then the hours component of your bonus will reflect a 2400 billable-hour year? If so, that is great news.

(2) Do you mind confirming how you know this? Do you work at Kirkland? If so, I'll update my original post to reflect the "facts" so my questions don't mislead people in the future.

Thanks!
(1) Correct.

(2) I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Any other questions?
Really helpful. Thanks!

Any insight into how the hours and merit components are weighted?
Work at K&E and the above is all correct. The merit component is the same for all associates your first two years, unless in the rare case of something negative pulling it down.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At least in Chicago (and I'm 99% sure elsewhere) Kirkland summers and first years get their own offices.

Most incoming first years in Chicago do PILI which comes with a $25K stipend during bar study.
Can you please expand what what that is exactly? adn how does it play in to you working at kirkland

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:01 pm

Are hours from the stub year counted when pro-rating for the first year bonuses, or are January hours the first ones counted for bonus purposes (i.e. is it pro-rated based on 10.5 months or 8 months)?

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:30 pm

Kirkland bonuses are paid in Dec (sometime between Dec 20 - Dec 31).

First years get a signing bonus, but no stub bonus. Regardless of what the billing year is, your full first year bonus is consistent with the fact that everybody in your class is starting at the same time, so to the extent there is some hours issue because you actually didn't spend a full billable year by that point, it'll be fine because everybody in your class will experience it and it'll normalize out. Kirkland pays above-market bonuses to the vast majority of associates, including first years.

And there's my point: everything will be fine. Why do you care, why are you focusing on these little minutia? Kirkland pays REALLY well, and it gets even better as you get more senior.

Other questions: AFAIK, most summers get their own offices. Every now and again a renovation might cause a shortage of offices, but there are usually creative solutions used to ensure folks still get their own office, even summers.

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:41 pm

Did anyone else figure this out. Lateraled to Kirkland in October last year. Hours are based June to June. Am I going to get screwed out of 25% of my bonus?

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Re: Kirkland Bonuses?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:50 pm

Bonus hours are measured September to end of August. You are thinking of review year.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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