Here’s some news that might interest the mutineers at Mayer Brown. The firm has announced bonuses for its offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C. — and early word seems to be positive.
We don’t have a memo; bonuses were communicated in person or over the phone. But we’ve gathered some intelligence from sources in both Chicago and D.C. that give us an overall picture.
It appears that there is no longer a bonus for hitting 2000 hours. But associates who hit 2100 hours were rewarded handsomely, receiving the same bonus that 2100 hours would have gotten them last year. For example, we hear that second-year associates who hit 2100 hours received bonuses of around $28,500 — almost three times as much as second-years got under the Cravath scale (which is what Mayer Brown paid in its New York office). Furthermore, additional increments of 100 hours above the 2100-hour level resulted in $8,500 in extra bonus money.
Mayer associates also received news about raises….
This news was less happy. We understand that many associates in corporate and other slow departments did not receive step-raises.
Back to the Mayer Brown bonus news. You can think of it as the Latham approach to bonuses.
Give zero bonuses to a sizable number of associates (for not making their hours), but pay rich rewards to those who do hit hours. Introducing a high amount of hours-driven variability into bonuses, while keeping base salaries fairly lockstep, is one of moving towards a more “merit-based” system without formally adopting a three-tier system for classifying associates (which is one common model for firms that have killed lockstep).
Feel free to compare notes on Mayer Brown bonuses, in Chicago or D.C. or any other offices, in the comments.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Mayer Brown (NY) Matches