Wachtell compensation data points? Forum

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Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm

Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).
Market :/

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).
Market :/
I'm assuming you have first hand knowledge, but I've heard bonus has always been 100% of base pay at Wachtell.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).

Lateral applicant?

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).
Market :/
I'm assuming you have first hand knowledge, but I've heard bonus has always been 100% of base pay at Wachtell.
Yeah, received wisdom for years now has been [NYC market salary]+[same amount again as year-end bonus].

No real reason to assume that has changed. I think an anon in some other thread said that bonuses were reduced for a while during the GFC.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:51 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).
Market :/
I'm assuming you have first hand knowledge, but I've heard bonus has always been 100% of base pay at Wachtell.
Yeah, received wisdom for years now has been [NYC market salary]+[same amount again as year-end bonus].

No real reason to assume that has changed. I think an anon in some other thread said that bonuses were reduced for a while during the GFC.
Unless you are in the very unlikely (or maybe likely I suppose given the limited number of people that get Wachtell offers) situation of debating between Wachtell and like Kellogg Hansen or Susman, you will be getting paid more at Wachtell compared to anywhere else.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:35 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:51 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).
Market :/
I'm assuming you have first hand knowledge, but I've heard bonus has always been 100% of base pay at Wachtell.
Yeah, received wisdom for years now has been [NYC market salary]+[same amount again as year-end bonus].

No real reason to assume that has changed. I think an anon in some other thread said that bonuses were reduced for a while during the GFC.
Unless you are in the very unlikely (or maybe likely I suppose given the limited number of people that get Wachtell offers) situation of debating between Wachtell and like Kellogg Hansen or Susman, you will be getting paid more at Wachtell compared to anywhere else.

Yeah, agreed. Idk what you mean by "I'm one such potential applicant." Chances are, you aren't. Sorry lol. And if you're really a "potential applicant," you should have done your due diligence and already know that Wachtell is the most lucrative place on the planet to practice law [as an associate], with a bonus equal to base salary.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by randomthrowaway » Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:57 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:35 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:51 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).
Market :/
I'm assuming you have first hand knowledge, but I've heard bonus has always been 100% of base pay at Wachtell.
Yeah, received wisdom for years now has been [NYC market salary]+[same amount again as year-end bonus].

No real reason to assume that has changed. I think an anon in some other thread said that bonuses were reduced for a while during the GFC.
Unless you are in the very unlikely (or maybe likely I suppose given the limited number of people that get Wachtell offers) situation of debating between Wachtell and like Kellogg Hansen or Susman, you will be getting paid more at Wachtell compared to anywhere else.

Yeah, agreed. Idk what you mean by "I'm one such potential applicant." Chances are, you aren't. Sorry lol. And if you're really a "potential applicant," you should have done your due diligence and already know that Wachtell is the most lucrative place on the planet to practice law [as an associate], with a bonus equal to base salary.
I don't really follow. Isn't OP doing his due diligence by making this very post?

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:47 pm

randomthrowaway wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:10 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:57 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:35 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:51 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:06 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Would any current Wachtell associates/partners be willing to disclose Wachtell's associate payscale and rough end-of-year bonus multiplier? This information could matter to potential applicants and (because of lockstep) it wouldn't out you.

(Anon because I'm one such potential applicant).
Market :/
I'm assuming you have first hand knowledge, but I've heard bonus has always been 100% of base pay at Wachtell.
Yeah, received wisdom for years now has been [NYC market salary]+[same amount again as year-end bonus].

No real reason to assume that has changed. I think an anon in some other thread said that bonuses were reduced for a while during the GFC.
Unless you are in the very unlikely (or maybe likely I suppose given the limited number of people that get Wachtell offers) situation of debating between Wachtell and like Kellogg Hansen or Susman, you will be getting paid more at Wachtell compared to anywhere else.

Yeah, agreed. Idk what you mean by "I'm one such potential applicant." Chances are, you aren't. Sorry lol. And if you're really a "potential applicant," you should have done your due diligence and already know that Wachtell is the most lucrative place on the planet to practice law [as an associate], with a bonus equal to base salary.
I don't really follow. Isn't OP doing his due diligence by making this very post?
I think the point is that if he/she was truly competitive as a lateral to Wachtell, chances are he/she would already know their compensation structure as it is extremely well publicized and well known to the caliber of candidates that are competitive for such an offer.

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theneuro

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by theneuro » Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:59 pm

These “if you were qualified you would know” posts are so lame. I remember making those kinds of posts when I was a 1L. The fact is, some things in the legal world are opaque even if you’re well qualified for them or information (like compensation) is inaccessible for many reasons having nothing to do with someone’s qualifications. And even if you can assume that Wachtell pays more than X firm in relative terms, you might want the absolute numbers before deciding whether it’s worth it to go through the application process to begin with, because people are for sale at different price points.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Sackboy » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:10 pm

theneuro wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:59 pm
These “if you were qualified you would know” posts are so lame. I remember making those kinds of posts when I was a 1L. The fact is, some things in the legal world are opaque even if you’re well qualified for them or information (like compensation) is inaccessible for many reasons having nothing to do with someone’s qualifications. And even if you can assume that Wachtell pays more than X firm in relative terms, you might want the absolute numbers before deciding whether it’s worth it to go through the application process to begin with, because people are for sale at different price points.
I think they're generally pretty dumb, but OP could have literally used the search box on this website...

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:16 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:10 pm
theneuro wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:59 pm
These “if you were qualified you would know” posts are so lame. I remember making those kinds of posts when I was a 1L. The fact is, some things in the legal world are opaque even if you’re well qualified for them or information (like compensation) is inaccessible for many reasons having nothing to do with someone’s qualifications. And even if you can assume that Wachtell pays more than X firm in relative terms, you might want the absolute numbers before deciding whether it’s worth it to go through the application process to begin with, because people are for sale at different price points.
I think they're generally pretty dumb, but OP could have literally used the search box on this website...
Has there been concrete information in recent years? Because last concrete thing I remember reading is that Wachtell associates were unhappy that — with special bonuses — the delta between Wachtell & conventional big law had grown much smaller.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:16 pm
Sackboy wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:10 pm
theneuro wrote:
Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:59 pm
These “if you were qualified you would know” posts are so lame. I remember making those kinds of posts when I was a 1L. The fact is, some things in the legal world are opaque even if you’re well qualified for them or information (like compensation) is inaccessible for many reasons having nothing to do with someone’s qualifications. And even if you can assume that Wachtell pays more than X firm in relative terms, you might want the absolute numbers before deciding whether it’s worth it to go through the application process to begin with, because people are for sale at different price points.
I think they're generally pretty dumb, but OP could have literally used the search box on this website...
Has there been concrete information in recent years? Because last concrete thing I remember reading is that Wachtell associates were unhappy that — with special bonuses — the delta between Wachtell & conventional big law had grown much smaller.
And then Wachtell paid above market special bonuses.

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theneuro

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by theneuro » Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:10 pm

For future posters and searchers, I found the relevant post (in a thread not specifically about Wachtell):

“WLRK is providing above market special bonuses this year. One lump sum. Summer. Rumors on this site regarding cuts to year-end bonuses are not true and haven’t been true for at least a decade. I’m sure folks can think of reasons why the firm would not want to advertise its compensation structure to the public.

Anon for obvious reasons. If a mod thinks this post should be de-anonymized for any reason, just delete it instead. Thanks.”

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by _PopTorts_ » Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:49 pm

Is it really still true that WLRK bonuses equate to 100% of associate salaries, though? That seems outrageous given the current salary scale. A third-year associate would be making $500k, assuming WLRK matches Milbank.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Sackboy » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:00 pm

_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:49 pm
Is it really still true that WLRK bonuses equate to 100% of associate salaries, though? That seems outrageous given the current salary scale. A third-year associate would be making $500k, assuming WLRK matches Milbank.
Yes, totally "outrageous" for a firm whose revenue per lawyer is $3.65 million (with #2 S&C at $1.93 million) and profit per partner is $7.50 million (with #2 DPW at $6.35 million) to pay associates bonuses equal to 100% of their salaries.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:05 pm

OP here. Some of these reactions surprise me. Obviously I know that Wachtell pays above market. But by how much? David Lat used to publish these numbers annually, but I don't know of data postdating the recent market compensation adjustments. Does Wachtell still pay 100% of base salary? More? Less? Has it adjusted base salary to keep up with the recent raises?

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by _PopTorts_ » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:10 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:00 pm
_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:49 pm
Is it really still true that WLRK bonuses equate to 100% of associate salaries, though? That seems outrageous given the current salary scale. A third-year associate would be making $500k, assuming WLRK matches Milbank.
Yes, totally "outrageous" for a firm whose revenue per lawyer is $3.65 million (with #2 S&C at $1.93 million) and profit per partner is $7.50 million (with #2 DPW at $6.35 million) to pay associates bonuses equal to 100% of their salaries.
Yes, it would be surprising for one firm to pay associates hundreds of thousands of dollars more in total compensation than the next best firm would pay associates of the same class. Especially so when there is a prevailing narrative on this forum that associates are almost entirely interchangeable and provide value only insofar as they are warm bodies.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:19 pm

_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:10 pm
Sackboy wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:00 pm
_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:49 pm
Is it really still true that WLRK bonuses equate to 100% of associate salaries, though? That seems outrageous given the current salary scale. A third-year associate would be making $500k, assuming WLRK matches Milbank.
Yes, totally "outrageous" for a firm whose revenue per lawyer is $3.65 million (with #2 S&C at $1.93 million) and profit per partner is $7.50 million (with #2 DPW at $6.35 million) to pay associates bonuses equal to 100% of their salaries.
Yes, it would be surprising for one firm to pay associates hundreds of thousands of dollars more in total compensation than the next best firm would pay associates of the same class. Especially so when there is a prevailing narrative on this forum that associates are almost entirely interchangeable and provide value only insofar as they are warm bodies.
WLRK is not other firms. They don't really do laterals (there are some exceptions but not a ton), they are extremely "skinny," they have absolutely crushing hours, they are extraordinarily selective. So, just not quite right.

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DoveBodyWash

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by DoveBodyWash » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:25 pm

WLRK is better understood as a corporate boutique IMO. When i was in law school, they were hiring like 30 summer associates for the whole firm - litigation and corporate. Compare that to 100-150 for its closest peers. And that associate pool is getting thinner YOY because no laterals to alleviate the attrition. They have way fewer mouths to feed and can thus pay at those levels (in exchange for the higher hours worked).

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:31 pm

_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:10 pm
Sackboy wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:00 pm
_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:49 pm
Is it really still true that WLRK bonuses equate to 100% of associate salaries, though? That seems outrageous given the current salary scale. A third-year associate would be making $500k, assuming WLRK matches Milbank.
Yes, totally "outrageous" for a firm whose revenue per lawyer is $3.65 million (with #2 S&C at $1.93 million) and profit per partner is $7.50 million (with #2 DPW at $6.35 million) to pay associates bonuses equal to 100% of their salaries.
Yes, it would be surprising for one firm to pay associates hundreds of thousands of dollars more in total compensation than the next best firm would pay associates of the same class. Especially so when there is a prevailing narrative on this forum that associates are almost entirely interchangeable and provide value only insofar as they are warm bodies.
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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by _PopTorts_ » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:34 pm

DoveBodyWash wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:25 pm
WLRK is better understood as a corporate boutique IMO. When i was in law school, they were hiring like 30 summer associates for the whole firm - litigation and corporate. Compare that to 100-150 for its closest peers. And that associate pool is getting thinner YOY because no laterals to alleviate the attrition. They have way fewer mouths to feed and can thus pay at those levels (in exchange for the higher hours worked).
This is genuinely helpful. Thanks.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by _PopTorts_ » Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:31 pm
_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:10 pm
Sackboy wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:00 pm
_PopTorts_ wrote:
Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:49 pm
Is it really still true that WLRK bonuses equate to 100% of associate salaries, though? That seems outrageous given the current salary scale. A third-year associate would be making $500k, assuming WLRK matches Milbank.
Yes, totally "outrageous" for a firm whose revenue per lawyer is $3.65 million (with #2 S&C at $1.93 million) and profit per partner is $7.50 million (with #2 DPW at $6.35 million) to pay associates bonuses equal to 100% of their salaries.
Yes, it would be surprising for one firm to pay associates hundreds of thousands of dollars more in total compensation than the next best firm would pay associates of the same class. Especially so when there is a prevailing narrative on this forum that associates are almost entirely interchangeable and provide value only insofar as they are warm bodies.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_effect
Nice use of Anon.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:05 pm

From my understanding Wachtell is still paying 100% bonuses, plus slightly above market base.

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Re: Wachtell compensation data points?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:21 pm

This is off topic but I heard Wachtell focuses on sell side m&a and just wondering why that might be the case. Any thoughts?

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