Associate Bonus Watch 2010, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Gibson Dunn Open Thread

(Yes, this is late, but better late than never. If you have bonus news or a bonus memo that we have not yet written up — run a site search or scroll through our archives to check what we’ve already covered — please email us. Thanks.)

Last month, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher announced associate bonuses. As we explained last year, GDC pays individualized bonuses, based on such factors as hours or quality of work. So here’s an open thread for anonymous comparison of Gibson bonuses.

We received a little detail about Gibson’s bonuses this year….

This first piece of information shouldn’t be a shocker. In terms of setting the bonus range, Gibson relied heavily on the Cravath scale.

Implementation varied from office to office. For offices outside of New York, the Cravath scale was used as a lodestar: if you were in the middle of the pack in terms of performance and hours, you got a Cravath bonus. In the words of one source, in a Gibson office outside of New York:

I made hours and got the standard Cravath bonus for my year. I imagine they did what they normally do: if you got near or over the 1950 mark you got the Cravath bonus; if you were significantly under hours, you got some reduced version; and if significantly over, you got some bigger version.

Meanwhile, in New York, it appears that Gibson matched Cravath in something closer to lockstep fashion (or perhaps pure lockstep?). From one unhappy tipster:

Gibson bonuses are out. Cravath scale — they tell you during the annual review. Also, the firm has stopped paying any extra bonus for extraordinary hours (in the past, they paid about $5K if one had hours better than the average).

By partners’ own admissions, the firm is having an extraordinary year, with record-breaking profits. No sharing of the wealth, unfortunately. The firm attempts to lower the average profits per partner number by prepaying office and supply expenses for the following year.

Things are “so bad” that they are adding two new floors in the Met Life building [where GDC’s New York office is] to accommodate all the new legal drones. About half of the more experienced lawyers are looking to leave (not only because of the low bonuses, but also due to the dramatic change in firm culture as the firm is growing rapidly without providing any sort of work support to speak of).

If you have additional information about Gibson’s bonus news — it was announced so long ago, so it’s safe to share now — please comment on this post, or email us. Thanks.

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Gibson Dunn Open Thread
Associate Bonus Watch: Gibson Dunn Quickly Distinguishes Itself From Latham

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