associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgAs you may recall, back in November, Weil, Gotshal & Manges announced special bonuses, at market levels. In its memo, the firm explained that year-end bonuses would be announced at a later point:

As is customary, 2007 year-end bonuses will be paid at market to associates receiving an “Overall Strong” rating and will be above market for associates receiving a “Distinguished” rating in class years 2003 and above. Year-end bonuses will be paid on January 25, 2008.

That point has come. Weil just announced its year-end bonuses — and for top performers at more senior levels, i.e., “Distinguished” associates in the class of 2003 and above, the bonuses are above market.
For details, check out the memo, after the jump.


WEIL GOTSHAL & MANGES — MEMORANDUM — 2007 YEAR-END ASSOCIATE BONUSES
From: Professional Evaluation and Compensation Committee
On January 25th, the Firm will pay year-end bonuses to our U.S. associates in appreciation for their hard work and dedication in 2007. These bonuses will be in addition to the special bonus that was announced on November 7, 2007. Associates in class years 2003 and more senior will receive bonuses based on our merit bonus system, reflecting our view that exceptional performance and dedication should be rewarded.
Most eligible associates will receive an “overall strong” rating and are paid at market with their peers at other major firms. Those associates receiving a “distinguished” rating are compensated above market.
All aspects of an associate’s performance are considered when assigning a rating. No minimum hours threshold is required for an associate to receive a “distinguished” bonus. The number of associates receiving a “distinguished” bonus varies from year to year, since it is merit-based.
This year, approximately 18% of class year 2003 associates will receive a “distinguished” rating, with the percentages increasing in more senior classes. Overall, approximately 31% of our eligible U.S. associates will receive a “distinguished” rating.
Base salary increases will be retroactive to January 1. The retroactive base compensation increases will be included in associates’ January 25 pay. All compensation will be subject to customary prorations.
Class Year 2008 Salary 2007 Bonus 1
2007 $160,000 $11,700
2006 $170,000 $35,000
2005 $185,000 $40,000
2004 $210,000 $45,000
2003 $230,000 Overall Strong $50,000
Distinguished $60,000
2002 $250,000 Overall Strong $55,000
Distinguished $65,000
2001 $265,000 Overall Strong $60,000
Distinguished $70,000
2000 $280,000 Overall Strong $65,000
Distinguished $75,000
1999 $290,000 Overall Strong $65,000
Distinguished $80,000
1998 & earlier case by case Overall Strong $65,000
Distinguished $85,000
As we announced last year, merit bonuses for 2007 will begin for the class of 2003, or fourth-year associates, rather than third-year associates, as has been our past practice. The change was the result of associate focus groups in the summer of 2006, where many associates noted concerns that during their third year of practice, they had not yet received sufficiently diverse practice experience and partner exposure to have been able to distinguish themselves from their peers.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Weil Announces Special Bonuses


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