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

Associate Bonus Watch: Kaye Scholer Bonus Follow-Up
(And Other Random Tidbits About the Firm)

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgA little follow-up on Kaye Scholer, whose bonus memo we posted back in November. From a source at the firm:

Just found out that despite the memo sent to associates last year, Kaye Scholer has decided to tie the special bonus to hours. Requiring 2200 hours to receive the special bonus.

There was no mention of this hours requirement in the original memo. Of course, it was designed to appear that Kaye Scholer was paying market when they had no intention of doing so.

But in fairness to the firm, they did leave themselves with some wiggle room, stating that special bonuses would be paid on a “discretionary” basis. It just seems that 2200 was the magic number required to trigger the exercise of said discretion.
Some associates aren’t happy about how that requirement was communicated (or not communicated, as the case may be). One associate claims that managing partner Barry Wilner, at a meeting held last year to discuss the bonus situation, did not disclose that 2200 hours would be the cutoff. As a result, “[a]ll the associates had to go on were rumors, which caused many associates to scramble at the last minute to achieve what they thought would be a sufficient amount of hours…. I’m not so much concerned about the amounts involved as much as I am concerned about the lack of information that floats through this firm.”
Two other bizarre bits of news about Kaye Scholer — involving “a giant Care Bear” and a roller derby queen named “She Raw,” which would seem to take the firm to Venable-level heights of weirdness — after the jump.

Another source at Kaye Scholer wrote us as follows:

I received a Vault Top 100 report card from a recruiting firm. I looked up my firm, Kaye Scholer, and found in the section “insiders say” that “on Thursdays someone dressed up in a giant Care Bear costume and walks around giving massages”

First, unless I’m missing something, I’ve never seen “a giant Care Bear” at KS. Second, how exactly did this get by a Vault editor? Are giant, massage-giving care bears so common among midtown corporate firms that fact checking is not required?

This next story is rather old, from November. But it hasn’t appeared in these pages before, so we figured we’d throw it in, while we’re talking about Kaye Scholer. From a tipster:

A mildly interesting story in the New York Times about NYC Roller Derby. Relevant for the legal world, it appears that one of the interviewees is an associate at Kaye Scholer named Danielle Noonan… aka “She Raw.”

From the story:

In a black dress and pumps, Danielle Noonan arrived for practice at the old cigar factory earlier this week direct from her office in the law firm of Kaye Scholer, where she practices patent law. She had never played a team sport, and had been trudging miserably on health club treadmills to keep fit. Then she heard about the derby, and fell for its generous camaraderie and silliness. For today’s match, Ms. Noonan, 28, will change into a short skirt with bloomers underneath, emerging as She Raw.

“People from the office come to watch — mostly men, waiting for me to fall and hoot when my skirt flies up,” she said. “They’re asking me to join the firm’s football team, but between derby and billable hours, there’s no time left.”

Lovely. But a search on the Kaye Scholer website does not unearth the presence of “She Raw.” Has she skated off for greener pastures? Like a firm where special bonuses aren’t tied to hours?
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Kaye Scholer Announces

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