associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgLet’s send you into the holiday weekend with some associate bonus news. Here are some law firm bonus announcements that haven’t been previously covered in these pages.
(Firms that previously announced their bonuses, but are being sneaky about the exact amounts and/or the percentage of associates getting them, will be addressed separately. This post is for completely new announcements.)
Some of this news is incomplete. If you can provide more details, please email us. Thanks.
1. Akin Gump (New York): Year-end bonuses, and special bonuses to “those associates and counsel who have performed in accordance with the Firm’s expectations regarding productivity, quality of work and Firm citizenship.” Plus “discretionary merit bonuses” to associates and counsel “who performed in a truly exceptional manner.”
One source at the firm characterizes it as follows:

Full match in NY, with extra bonuses in certain cases (generally to billers over 2400). There has never been an hours requirement, so if past practice is any indicator, anyone not being fired will get it.

Full memo, after the jump.
2. Akin Gump (outside New York): Each associate is allowed to make the case to the firm for a big bonus. A source tells us that this practice of asking associates to write up memos to justify their bonuses started a few years ago. “I wonder how this plays into the current bonus climate, or if anyone else has to do this.”
3. Hogan & Hartson (outside New York): The 2007 bonus memo appears after the jump.
4. Hogan & Hartson (New York): We’ve confirmed the fact that Hogan announced bonuses in New York. It was described to us as a market match. But we haven’t seen a memo or the fine print of the announcement, so we can’t confirm that.
Update: The bonus memo for Hogan & Hartson’s New York office appears after the jump.
5. Vinson & Elkins (New York): “V&E matched the New York market bonus (including this year’s special bonus) for its New York associates, to be paid on January 15, 2008. No memo yet, a voicemail.”
6. Sheppard Mullin: Details after the jump.


AKIN GUMP — 2007 ASSOCIATE BONUS MEMORANDUM (NEW YORK)
MEMORANDUM
December 21, 2007
To: All New York Associates and Counsel
From: David H. Botter
Re: 2007 Bonuses
All,
It has been another great year! The Firm truly values your tremendous efforts to produce the highest quality legal work for our clients, while maintaining an environment that is unique to Akin Gump.
In recognition of your efforts this year, and consistent with our continuing commitment to provide a competitive compensation package for our associates and counsel, the Firm is pleased to announce that all associates and counsel in good standing in the Class of 2007 and senior will receive the NY Market Bonus set forth below. In addition, the Firm will be paying a one-time Special Bonus also listed below to those associates and counsel who have performed in accordance with the Firm’s expectations regarding productivity, quality of work and Firm citizenship.
Akin Gump New York associate bonus table Above the Law blog.jpg
Bonuses for associates and counsel who do not qualify for the above NY Market Bonus and Special Bonus will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Bonuses will be pro-rated for associates and counsel who have started during the year, are on a reduced work-load schedule or who have had an approved leave during the past year.
In addition to the above NY Market Bonus and Special Bonus, for those associates and counsel who performed in a truly exceptional manner, in terms of both quality and productivity, the Firm may award discretionary merit bonuses.
For Senior Counsel, Senior Attorneys and Staff Attorneys, bonuses will be determined on an individual basis.
All of the above bonuses will be paid on January 31, 2008.
Again, thank you all for a tremendous 2007 and we look forward to 2008!
Happy holidays to all of you and your families.
David
AKIN GUMP — 2007 ASSOCIATE BONUS MEMORANDUM (OUTSIDE NEW YORK)
From: Dennis Race
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 4:38 PM
To: FW Associates; FW Counsel
Cc: FW Section Managers; Koopersmith, Kim; Meserole, Meg W.
Consistent with past practice, the firm will determine merit bonuses for all Associates and Counsel in January, with bonus payments to be included in the January 31, 2008 payroll.
Prior to finalizing the merit bonuses, we would like to provide each of you an opportunity to report any circumstances related to your 2007 client hours that you feel should be considered in determining bonuses. As a reminder, client hours include both client and pro bono hours. If there are hours-related circumstances that you would like the firm to consider for bonus purposes, please send your Section Manager and me an e-mail summarizing same by no later than Wednesday January 2, 2008. As in the past, you are also encouraged to call our attention to non-billable contributions that you feel may not have been captured by CMS.
If you have any questions on the firm’s compensation policies or processes, please feel to contact me directly. Thanks much.
Happy Holidays!
SHEPPARD MULLIN — 2007 ASSOCIATE BONUS INFORMATION
According to a source at the firm:

Bonuses for Sheppard Mullin’s LA and DC offices were announced today. Starting at 2100 hours, associates will get a bonus (the first number below, listed by class year). The second number below is the incremental bonus for 2200 and 2300 hours billed. Above 2300 hours, additional bonuses are discretionary (no one will receive less than the 2200/2300 incremental amount for hours billed in excess of 2300). Individual bonuses will be larger due to discretionary factors (also, some people billing under 2100 hours will receive a discretionary bonus).

2006: $20,000/$5,000
2005: $30,000/$5,000
2004: $32,500/$5,000
2003: $35,000/$5,000
2002: $40,000/$7,500
Counsel 1: $45,000/$7,500
Counsel 2: $45,000/$10,000
Counsel 3: $45,000/$10,000
HOGAN & HARTSON — 2007 ASSOCIATE BONUS MEMORANDUM (OUTSIDE NEW YORK)
Hogan Hartson 1 2007 associate bonus memo Above the Law blog.jpg
Hogan Hartson 2 2007 associate bonus memo Above the Law blog.jpg
Hogan Hartson 3 2007 associate bonus memo Above the Law blog.jpg
HOGAN & HARTSON — 2007 ASSOCIATE BONUS MEMORANDUM (NEW YORK)
Hogan Hartson New York 1 2007 associate bonus memo Above the Law blog.jpg
Hogan Hartson New York 2 2007 associate bonus memo Above the Law blog.jpg


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