Associate Bonus Watch 2011, Biglaw, Bonuses, john quinn, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Quinn Emanuel Will Pay Spring Bonuses

Two weeks ago, we talked about how hard Quinn Emanuel associates are working. Now we get to talk about how well Quinn Emanuel associates get paid.

In its year-end bonus memo, issued this past December, Quinn Emanuel said the following:

We know some firms have indicated they will pay additional bonuses this Spring. While we are not announcing any specific level of Spring bonuses now, we will certainly match any bonuses that other competitive firms may offer.

But while we wait for Sullivan & Cromwell to live up to its spring bonus promise, Quinn has become not a spring bonus follower, but a spring bonus leader….

It’s been a wacky bonus season. Bonuses have gone down from last year, even though firm profits are up. And associates are certainly working hard.

Less money and more work is a recipe for low employee morale. Evidently, that is not something that bothers Cravath, or the many firms that have followed the supposed market leader. But at Quinn, the firm is putting money behind its hardworking associates. From the memo issued earlier today by founding partner John Quinn:

… in appreciation of your efforts we will be paying bonuses at the end of june. the amounts will be determined roughly on the basis of seniority and level of sacrifice.

Obviously, we don’t yet know the extra amounts Quinn associates will be taking home in June. If you find out, let us know in the comments, at, or via text at (646) 820-TIPS (646-820-8477).

But the message is clear: at least at Quinn, if you work hard, the firm is going to pay you more. Even if we’re only talking about an extra couple of thousand dollars here or there, the money also makes a symbolic point: at some firms, partners are trying to reward associates for hard work; at Cravath, partners are getting praise for keeping associate compensation low.

So add Quinn to the ever-growing list of firms that are paying better than so-called “market leaders” like Cravath and S&C. You wonder if all this information will filter down to associate recruiting.

But remember, in fairness to S&C, they’re presumably not done yet. Remember, spring isn’t over yet.

Check out the full Quinn Emanuel spring bonus memo on the next page. And don’t forget to tell us how much you’re getting….

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