Associate Bonus Watch 2012, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money, Partner Issues

New Partner Watch: Does Cravath’s Bumper Crop Bode Well for Biglaw Bonuses?

Time to start practicing the Cravath walk? (Google it if you’re not familiar.)

In an excellent essay reflecting on his time at Cravath, lawyer turned author James B. Stewart had this to say about the associates who made partner: “They weren’t necessarily the brightest…. They weren’t, as I had expected, the hardest-working…. They weren’t the most personable…. Finally it came to me: The one thing nearly all the partners had in common was they loved their work.”

Move over, Virginia. Cravath is for lovers — of work.

The firm just named its latest class of lovers. How many new partners did CSM just make, and what might this suggest about the firm’s market-setting bonuses?

We heard the good word from a source inside Worldwide Plaza:

In case you haven’t seen this yet….

Five new partners, associates are super busy, and we’re having an off-site holiday party (at the Intrepid museum). So hopefully that bodes well for bonuses.

As Cravath goes, so goes the world. If Cravath is having a good year, it might as well pay big bonuses, and force its rivals to cough up the cash (regardless of whether they’re having good years too).

So who are the new Cravath partners? From the press release, which is short and sweet:

Five new partners have been elected from Cravath’s associate ranks. They are: Stephen M. Kessing, Corporate (J.D. magna cum laude, Duke University School of Law; M.B.A., University of Southern California; B.S., Miami University); Lauren A. Moskowitz, Litigation (J.D. magna cum laude, Fordham University School of Law; B.A. with distinction, Cornell University); David J. Perkins, Corporate (J.D. with high honors, University of Washington School of Law; B.S. distinguished honor graduate, United States Military Academy); Johnny G. Skumpija, Corporate (J.D. cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School; B.A. magna cum laude, New York University); and J. Leonard Teti II, Tax (J.D., University of Virginia School of Law; A.B. with honors, Princeton University).

The new partners will become members of the Firm on January 1, 2013.

Three male corporate lawyers, a tax guy, and a litigatrix. Sounds like a good group.

Here’s what one source observed about the crew:

[F]ive new Cravath partners have been announced. Their backgrounds really show what a meritocracy the place is (or that Harvard and Yale kids escape quickly): one Fordham law, one Penn Law, one Washington Law, one Duke, one Virginia. James B. Stewart would be proud.

Indeed. Congratulations to these fabulous five on joining one of the most elite partnerships in all of Biglaw.

In part because it’s a true lockstep firm, Cravath has extremely high standards for making partners. Unlike firms where partner pay is individually set each year, CSM can’t just make a partner casually and then lowball him on comp if he later fails to produce. In some years Cravath makes zero new partners. So naming a quintet is impressive.

Has your firm recently announced its new partners? If so, what do the selections — in terms of number, practice areas, diversity, or other considerations — say about the state of your firm? Feel free to email us or text us (646-820-8477) and let us know. Thanks.

Cravath Announces New Partners [Cravath, Swaine & Moore]

Earlier: Biglaw: It’s Not All About the Benjamins
New Partner Watch: Cravath and Simpson
A Look at New Partner Classes at Ten Top Firms
Cravath: Zero Associates Worthy of Partnership

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