Associate Bonus Watch 2012, Biglaw, Bonuses, Money

Associate Bonus Watch: Milbank Matches Cravath

Last year, Milbank Tweed diverged from the Cravath bonus scale, but in a nice way. Milbank paid a pro-rated $7,500 to first-year associates who had been at the firm for just a few months (so-called “stub” first-years). Cravath didn’t pay any bonuses to stub first-year associates last year, so in a sense, Milbank “beat” the Cravath scale.

This year, though, Cravath adopted the Milbank maneuver. Cravath paid a pro-rated $10,000 to members of the class of 2012, making this part of the standard bonus scale.

So what did Milbank do this year to distinguish itself from Cravath in terms of bonuses?

Nothing, as far as we can tell. Milbank matched the 2012 Cravath bonus scale on Friday.

As you can see from the memo on the next page, the Milbank bonuses will be paid in January. That’s the firm’s standard practice, so it should come as no surprise. If we go over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” however, paying bonuses in January 2013 rather than December 2012 could hurt certain associates.

But don’t complain, Milbankers; working at the firm is its own reward. To quote a recent Milbank departure memo, “If one million angels sang a chorus of praise from the peaks of the Himalayas, it might just begin to match the gratitude that I have for you all.”

Congratulations to Milbank associates on their handsome bonuses. If you’d like to see the memo, flip to the next page.

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