Waiting for an announcement of law firm associate bonuses? Take a number. Right now we’re exactly where we were yesterday: No news.
And no news isn’t necessarily good news. In our morning review of the message boards, this was the most interesting post:
The reason why no firm has announced yet is due to the fact that total comp will remain unchanged from last year to this. I work for a headhunter who talks with partners from different firms around the city. She tells me that almost every partner she talks to wants to see total comp unchanged year-over-year. She believes that no firm wants to lead with a decreased bonus from last year, and that is why no one has come out yet.
So don’t expect much in the way of a bonus this year and don’t go crazy buying stuff because your bonus may be much less than what you were expecting.
Now, this isn’t our personal prediction (and several subsequent posters took issue with this analysis). We’re guessing that there will be SOME increase in total compensation, even if it’s relatively modest.
But it’s certainly possible that the first mover will TRY to keep total compensation unchanged. After the first-mover firm gets leapfrogged, even if modestly, by a competitor, they will then match that competitor. And voila — the new market rate will be set.
Even if we don’t share this poster’s pessimism, though, we did want to draw your attention to this possibility. Think of it as an ATL public service announcement. Don’t count your chickens — or buy that new flat-screen plasma tv — before the bonus eggs are hatched.
P.S. As always, we implore you to notify us promptly, by email, as soon as you hear any actual bonus news. Please don’t assume that we already know about the news, that someone else will tell us, etc. We’d rather get dozens of repetitive emails than miss out on a big announcement.
Total comp to remain unchanged [Infirmation / Greedy NY Board]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)