Biglaw, Fabulosity, Perks / Fringe Benefits, Shopping For Others, Technology

Associate Benefits Watch: Proskauer to iPads

It feels a little bit weird to talk (and bitch) about the high-end lifestyle enjoyed Biglaw associates on Veterans Day. We’re all very thankful for the people who risk their lives to keep us safe, secure, and free.

Okay, random moment of conscience over. Where are the goddamn bonuses?

The first Biglaw bonus memo still hasn’t dropped — when it does, please email us at or text us at 646-820-TIPS, ASAP — but we do have associate benefits news. Yesterday, Proskauer Rose told its associates that they would all be getting a free iPad and a desktop PC. Or a free laptop with a docking station. And candy floss. And free Rock Band 3 peripherals.

Okay, I made the last two items up, but you get the point. We don’t know what Proskauer’s cash bonus will be, but we do know that Proskauer associates won’t have to spend it on fancy gadgets…

From the email from Proskauer announcing the tech upgrades available to all associates:

From: Executive Committee
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010
To: Lawyers Firmwide
Subject: iPads

As Allen Fagin announced at a Town Hall meeting earlier this week, the Firm will be offering lawyers a choice of either a desktop PC and an iPad or a laptop with a docking station.

We plan to distribute iPads in early February after the anticipated release of the new model. The Firm will also provide a wireless keyboard and case to complement the iPad. As with all PCs, laptops and Blackberries, iPads provided by the Firm are Firm property.

So Proskauer isn’t being quite as nice as Edelson McGuire and Patterson Belknap. As we previously reported, these firms gave their associates free iPads — as the associates’ property, not the firm’s.

We will offer the 32GB model iPad with WiFi. If you prefer to upgrade to the 3G model, which has WiFi and cellular capabilities, the cost differential and the monthly charges will be a personal expense.

If you have already purchased an iPad or do not wish to wait for the new model, the Firm will reimburse you for the cost of the 32GB WiFi model. If you have recently chosen the laptop option but would prefer the desktop and iPad combination, you may exchange the laptop for a PC.

We will provide additional information on this initiative when it becomes available.

The iPad: you know you want one.

Does this mean that if your firm is not giving out free iPads, you have to suck on Proskauer’s prestige?

Since everything must be viewed through the lens of the potential associate bonus pool, I’m thinking that this is another good sign for this year’s bonus. Think about it: Proskauer is going to follow the market, but they don’t know what the market is yet, because Cravath hasn’t told them. Despite this uncertainty, the firm is committing to a tech upgrade in February. That’s got to mean that Proskauer feels it is in a strong enough financial position that it will be able to match whatever the market dictates without breaking a sweat.

In the meantime, cross the iPad off the list of Christmas gifts for Proskauer associates. Father Proskauer just got the drop on Santa.

Earlier: Law Firm Perk Watch: Who Wants a Free iPad?

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