Associate Bonus Watch 2008

Paul Hastings Follow Up: Layoffs Should Be Enough

Paul Hastings logo.JPGWe reported yesterday that Paul Hastings laid off a bunch of associates. In that report, we mentioned that a firm wide meeting was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. We’re getting the first reports from that meeting, and not surprisingly, associates received more information about the layoffs.

A tipster reports that Paul Hastings management emphasized that yesterday’s layoffs were the first round of “economic” layoffs. Apparently, all of the other PH layoffs that we’ve reported were performance based:

Previous terminations were performance based. But for world-wide economic downturn, the associates let go at this time would still be with the firm. Firm looked at past three months of performance and projected hours for 2009 and adjusted headcount to meet those expected hours. The decision was made on a department and office basis. It was not a flat 5% reduction. Some groups had no attorney or staff reductions and some offices had only very small reductions.

But there is also some good news for the remaining Paul Hastings employees.

More details after the jump.

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgPaul Hastings told associates that the layoffs should be the only thing PH has to do to weather the economic storm. At the meeting, people were told:

* No delay in start dates for first years.

* No reduction in class size for summer associates.

* No reduction in length of summer class.

* No associate pay reduction or freeze.

That is encouraging.

And people were also told some bonus news. That’s right, I said “bonus.”

1950 minimum hours to get base bonus and 1800 to get any bonus. Approximately 57% of associates received some bonus. Bonus amounts are on the half-Skadden scale. Only 10% of associates get above the base.

People getting paid extra money? I’d forgotten that was even possible anymore.

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Paul Hastings Lays Off 131 in Round 3

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