Wow, it’s starting to feel like 2008 (pre-Lehman) up in here! Earlier today, the Dow Jones broke the 12,000 mark. And now law firms — law firms that could treat their associates like dirt and still have have no problems with retention, according to some people — are once again competing with each other in terms of associate bonuses.

Multiple sources report that Simpson Thacher has matched the springtime bonuses announced last week by Sullivan & Cromwell. The STB bonuses will be paid on Friday, April 29, 2011.

What does this mean for associates at so-called “peer firms” of S&C and STB?

Well, what do you think it means? More money, hopefully!

In a reader poll taken earlier this week, reader sentiment was pessimistic. Over 70 percent of respondents said that their firms would definitely not or probably not match the S&C spring bonuses.

But the Simpson announcement changes things, doesn’t it? Will Cravath, Skadden, and Davis Polk sit idly by, while Sullivan and Simpson pay associates substantially more in bonuses?

We’ll keep you abreast of all the action in what we expect will become a new round of bonus announcements. Say hello to Springtime Bonus Watch 2011!

Earlier: The State of Biglaw: With Layoffs Down Dramatically, Will Spring Bring Bonuses?
Associate Bonus Watch: Sullivan & Cromwell Pays Generous Spring Bonuses!


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