It’s nice when law firms listen. Last week we highlighted a few firms that had been slow to pull the spring bonus trigger. It would seem that these firms have received the message that their own people were paying attention to spring bonuses at peer firms.
Today, Kirkland & Ellis announced that it also will be making spring bonus payments. Welcome, K&E associates; there is pie and punch in the corner.
We’ll let you know if Quinn Emanuel comes to the party, but let’s first check out what Kirkland is rolling in with…
We’ve received a ton of Kirkland & Ellis tips in the last hour or so. Have you ever seen those nature programs where they show you how a parched desert landscape springs to life once it starts raining? That is what’s happening at K&E right now. The partners made it rain, and now all the associates are springing to life. Expect them to breed soon.
The news was conveyed this morning over a voicemail to all associates. Tipsters report that Kirkland is basically matching the Cravath scale for spring bonuses. There’s no merit component, as with the bonuses announced in December; the K&E spring bonuses are “just straight lockstep in line with Cravath,” according to one source.
We say Kirkland is “basically” matching the Cravath scale, because there are some divergences. The bad news is for K&E associates in the class of 2010. Although 2010 graduates at Cravath and Sullivan & Cromwell are getting $2,500 for a spring bonus, Kirkland associates from that year are not getting anything. In addition, law clerks from the class of 2009 who joined the firm in 2010 aren’t getting a spring bonus.
UPDATE (11:40 AM): One other caveat. In order to get a spring bonus at K&E, you needed a rating of “with class” or higher.
On the bright side, even though Kirkland’s spring bonus scale isn’t higher than Cravath’s, K&E will be paying out earlier. Tipsters report that Kirkland associates will receive their spring bonuses on April 4.
For the most part, associates are happy that Kirkland decided to go with spring bonuses, even if the firm made them wait for it. Says one K&E tipster:
The message had some b.s. re: recognizing the hard work of associates. Most everyone is laughing at that part because we all know that they really couldn’t ignore [the spring bonus trend] anymore. But we’re glad they at least decided to pay out finally.
Congratulations, Kirkland associates; enjoy your spring.