Update (3:30 PM): Please note that this post has been revised in various respects since its original publication. The situation is fluid and we are investigating further. Thanks.
It’s moving day. Time for the elite firms to separate themselves from everybody else.
Multiple tipsters inform us that O’Melveny & Myers associates, in California and in Washington, DC, received voicemails today confirming that first year associate bonuses would be… $27,500. The bonus scale for OMM, in CA and DC, is believed to look like this:
2007 – 27,500
2006 – 30,000
2005 – 32,500
2004 – 35,000
2003 – 37,500
2002 – 40,000
2001 and 2000 – 45,000
A tipster adds, “Everyone is also eligible for additional bonus amounts on top of that based on hours and performance.”
We understand that OMM traditionally makes these announcements over voicemail. Bonuses will be paid on December 31st, with an official memo following in January. Oh, and just for good measure, class appropriate pay raises will proceed as planned. Eat your heart out, Latham.
Update (3:30 PM): It appears that these California and D.C. bonus levels are subject to a minimum hours requirement of 1950. In addition, it seems that O’Melveny’s New York office is on the Cravath scale.
Update (3:45 PM): Associate editor Kashmir Hill just spoke by phone with an O’Melveny spokesperson. The spokesperson confirmed that OMM’s California and DC offices are paying bonuses to associates that are higher than OMM in New York.
“For some time, we have set bonus levels at a competitive rate for local markets,” she said. And as ATL readers know, this year the local market in New York is weak in terms of bonuses. The OMM rep pointed out that last year New York bonuses were higher than non-NYC bonuses.
In addition, the spokesperson added, the California and DC bonus scales are subject to a minimum hours requirement of 1950. Bonuses in New York are not subject to such a minimum (although “hours and merit are taken into account,” according to OMM).
More after the jump.
Now, let’s say you’re an associate at Half-Skadden or Latham? How do you feel now?
Okay, don’t answer that. Today, if the first time in weeks, is a time for joy. Someone, somewhere is getting a piece of the profits pie, and that is a good thing.
Because the thing about entitlement is this: some people are “entitled” to certain things. In this case, associates who worked hard at the very best law firms in the country are entitled to share in the profits they generate. You simply can’t give out a bonus to a senior associate at one firm that is smaller than the bonus given to first years a peer firms, and expect everybody to just be “thankful that they have a job.”
Well done OMM. Now there is a clear separation among top firms. S&C, are you a contender or a pretender?