Just in time for its holiday party, which is taking place tonight, the New York office of Arnold & Porter has announced bonuses. It appears to be following the example of other non-New York firms — e.g., Covington & Burling, WilmerHale, and Sidley Austin — and paying its New York associates better than their non-NYC counterparts.
Full memo after the jump. Some brief observations, from a tipster:
A word of explanation: bonus structure is very different between the D.C. office (which I believe has a tiered formula), and New York, which has in the past had a flat 1950 hours requirement, with some other types of hours counting toward that 1950. Note the tying of special bonus to 2000 client billables (this is going to cut out some, don’t know how many).
There is also confusion in the ranks about whether the special-bonus-tied-to-2000-billables thing includes pro bono hours. On my reading, it doesn’t.
Note also the VERY weird “firm citizenship” requirement. Timely billing!? Oh noes!
You can read the memo for yourself, after the jump.
ARNOLD & PORTER — 2007 ASSOCIATE BONUS MEMORANDUM
To: New York Associates
From: Richard M. Alexander
Date: December 12, 2007
Re: 2007 Bonuses
As we have previously reported to you, it is the Firm’s goal to pay bonuses to our New York associates consistent with the prevailing practice of firms based outside of New York but having offices in New York. In awarding such bonuses, we will consider the following criteria as set forth in the June 2007 memorandum from the Management Committee regarding the Firm’s associate bonus program: productivity, quality of work, efficiency, responsiveness to clients, results achieved, compliance with client guidelines for outside counsel, and firm citizenship. “Firm citizenship” includes participation in efforts to expand the practice of the firm, compliance with all firm policies (including non-discrimination and non-harassment); volunteering for assignments when one has time available; reporting time daily; serving on firm committees when requested; participating in recruitment; serving as a mentor; working cooperatively with one’s colleagues; and pitching in when serving the firm’s clients requires exceptional effort.
Year-end bonuses: For 2007, associates who (i) have logged 1950 billable hours (of which 150 hours can be pro bono time and 50 hours can be business development/non-billable travel time) and (ii) otherwise satisfy the criteria set forth above will be eligible for the following bonuses:
Class of 2007: $35,000 (pro-rated)
Class of 2006: $35,000
Class of 2005: $40,000
Class of 2004: $45,000
Class of 2003: $50,000
Class of 2002: $55,000
Class of 2001: $60,000
Class of 2000 and senior: $65,000
Special bonuses: This year, the Firm will award special bonuses to eligible associates. To receive a special bonus (which will be paid in addition to the year-end bonus), an associate must (i) have a minimum of 2000 client billable hours for calendar year 2007 and (ii) otherwise satisfy the criteria set forth above. The special bonus range is as follows:
Class of 2006: $10,000
Class of 2005: $15,000
Class of 2004: $20,000
Class of 2003: $30,000
Class of 2002: $40,000
Class of 2001 and senior: $50,000
The Firm will use the twelve-month period from January 1 through December 31, 2007 for calculating hours for New York associates for bonus purposes. Associates who are on leave during the year will be eligible for pro-rated bonuses. For associates who arrived during the year, any bonuses paid will be pro-rated based on the number of weeks associates are with the Firm. For associates who arrive during the year or who work a part-time schedule, the hours required and any bonuses paid will be pro-rated based on the number of weeks the associate is with the Firm. An associate must have been at the Firm by September 4, 2007 to be eligible for a bonus. All our bonuses are paid only to eligible associates who are employed by the Firm on the date the bonus is paid. Year-end bonuses will be paid on February 1, 2008, and special bonuses will be paid in two installments — one-half on February 1, 2008 and one-half on July 3, 2008.
We are fortunate to work with so many talented associates. We thank you for your exemplary client service, dedication and other contributions to the Firm. Happy holidays.
cc: New York Partners and Counsel