Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Welcome to ATL Associate Bonus Watch

stack of bills cash money.jpgHey kids, guess what? It’s almost December. Christmas is only a few weeks away; the end of the year is within sight. And we all know what that means: Associate Bonuses!!!
Welcome to Associate Bonus Watch. In this recurring ATL feature, we’ll keep you updated on the latest news and rumor about bonuses for law firm associates.
Here’s the latest speculation, from the Wall Street Journal:

Bonus season for New York City-based associates at big firms usually begins in early December, and there is more intrigue than usual this year, because of the possibility that firms will scale back associates’ bonuses after having raised their base salaries earlier this year.

In New York — the nation’s largest and most lucrative market, thanks to Wall Street business — bonuses for associates often have little to do with either a firm’s overall financial performance or the individuals’ productivity. Rather, many firms match the competition’s bonuses, regardless of whether firms have had similarly good years….

Asks a partner at one New York firm: “What top-tier firm wants to go to Harvard Law School and be the one that pays $5,000 or $10,000 less” in bonuses?

Exactly. And here at Above the Law, we’re happy to reinforce that market pressure, by broadcasting on the internet what different law firms are doling out as bonuses. Who’s naughty, and who’s nice? Check in at ATL to find out.
We aspire to cover breaking bonus news more thoroughly than the mainstream media or even the legal press. We were, after all, the first outlet to break the news of Wachtell Lipton’s midyear bonuses, back in September. We have a good-sized network of Biglaw moles, whom we turn to for tips and for fact-checking. (Yes, we do check facts — sometimes.)
But we need your help to do the very best job possible. As soon as you hear of any news or rumor about year-end bonuses for associates, please contact us ASAP, by email (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com, subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”). Thanks!
Jury’s Still Out on Wall Street Law Bonuses [Wall Street Journal]

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