2009 Associate bonus watch above the law.JPGLast week, Kramer Levin announced its bonuses. The firm is paying bonuses on the Cravath scale, to associates “in good standing.” So it looks on the surface like a market match.
But the memo contains the following language worth noting:

As has been our practice, eligibility to receive the Year-End Bonus will be based on merit and achievement of hours thresholds (which are expected to be the same as the last couple of years); associates who do not satisfy these components may be eligible to receive Year-End Bonuses in lesser amounts.

Do these merit and hours requirements keep a significant number of associates from receiving the full bonus? We don’t have enough data points to say; feel free to discuss in the comments. Also note that bonuses won’t be paid for a while — not until February 15, 2010.
The full memo appears after the jump.


KRAMER LEVIN NAFTALIS & FRANKEL — MEMORANDUM — 2009 YEAR-END MERIT BONUSES
TO: All Associates
CC: All Partners
FROM: Paul S. Pearlman
RE: 2009 Year-End Merit Bonuses
On behalf of the firm, I am pleased to announce year-end bonuses for associates in good standing based on the following schedule*:
Class Year Year-End Bonus
2008 $ 7,500
2007 $10,000
2006 $15,000
2005 $20,000
2004 $25,000
2003+ $30,000
As has been our practice, eligibility to receive the Year-End Bonus will be based on merit and achievement of hours thresholds (which are expected to be the same as the last couple of years); associates who do not satisfy these components may be eligible to receive Year-End Bonuses in lesser amounts. Bonuses will be paid to eligible associates in good standing employed by the firm on the date bonuses are paid, which is expected to be February 15, 2010.
We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication over the past year.
P.S.P.
* For those associates in the class years listed above who were on a leave of absence, worked part-time, or joined the firm after January 1, 2009, bonuses will be pro-rated (unless the associate has met the threshold notwithstanding such arrangement, in which case he or she will be eligible for the full amount of the bonus).
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch 2009


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