Associate Bonus Watch 2007, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money, Skaddenfreude

Associate Bonus Watch: Sidley Austin (Non-New York)

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgFor non-New York associates of Sidley Austin, Monday is the big day. The firm just sent out a memo informing them that bonuses will be distributed at that time. As you may recall, the firm previously announced special bonuses, but only for its New York office — news that was not well-received outside of NYC.
If you’re hoping for hard numbers, you’ll be disappointed; the memo is rather vague. It states:

[W]e continue to determine bonuses on an individual basis and consistent with our culture and practice, will communicate with you individually about them. Because year-end bonuses remain discretionary and are tailored to individual circumstances, no description of the relevant factors could be exhaustive. As in recent years, however, we again have considered the hours that each associate has spent on chargeable, pro bono, and certain non-chargeable matters such as legal services to the Firm, as well as the quality of each associate’s work and other special contributions to the Firm.

You can read the whole thing, in all of its glorious opacity, after the jump.


SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP — 2007 ASSOCIATE BONUS MEMORANDUM (NON-NEW YORK)
From: The Management Committee
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007
To: CH – Associates; DA – Associates; LA – Associates; NY – Associates; SF – Associates; DC – Associates
Cc: +All Firm Partners
Subject: Associate Bonuses
SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP
MEMORANDUM
TO: All Associates – Domestic Offices
FROM: The Management Committee
RE: Associate Bonuses
On Monday, the Firm will begin distributing year-end bonuses to our associates. This is an occasion for us to recognize and reward your extraordinary contributions to the Firm. Our partners are extremely proud and appreciative of your efforts during the past year to provide the highest quality of professional service to our clients and to contribute to the continued vitality and success of our Firm.
As in past years, we continue to determine bonuses on an individual basis and consistent with our culture and practice, will communicate with you individually about them. Because year-end bonuses remain discretionary and are tailored to individual circumstances, no description of the relevant factors could be exhaustive. As in recent years, however, we again have considered the hours that each associate has spent on chargeable, pro bono, and certain non-chargeable matters such as legal services to the Firm, as well as the quality of each associate’s work and other special contributions to the Firm. Hours continue to be an important but not the sole factor for setting bonuses. Quality of work is and remains not only an important factor in the setting of a bonus, but the most important factor in evaluating an associate’s performance and long-term success at the Firm.
We also remain determined to be competitive with other firms in the compensation we provide to associates in each of the local markets in which we practice, and we believe these bonuses and the substantial increases in standard salaries in all class years earlier this year reflect that determination.
For all our partners, we thank you for your professionalism and dedication to making this Firm an exceptional place to practice law. Best wishes for the holidays and the New Year.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Sidley Austin (New York only)

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