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

Associate Bonus (and New Partner) Watch: Morrison & Foerster


From: Larren M. Nashelsky
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013
Subject: 2012 Associate Bonuses/2013 Associate Compensation (U.S. Comp Structure)

To all Associates and Counsel on the U.S. Compensation Structure:

I am delighted to confirm 2012 bonuses and announce 2013 base compensation.[1] Before I turn to the details, however, I want to thank you once again for your terrific work. As I noted in my message over the holidays, MoFo had a great 2012. Clients entrusted us with their biggest and most challenging matters, which fed strong performances across our practices. The partners appreciate your commitment to excellence and the many sacrifices you made along the way in serving our clients. We look forward to celebrating many more successes together in the months and years ahead.

2012 associate bonuses will be paid with the February 15 payroll; base salary increases will be paid with the February 28 payroll, retroactive to January 1.[2]

2012 Bonuses – Non-NY

On February 11, we will distribute memos to associates outside New York who are receiving Evaluation Bonuses. (Associates who did not meet their minimum legal service hours requirements will not receive memos or be paid Evaluation Bonuses). As you know, we take into account three factors in calculating individual bonuses: performance as determined through the evaluation process, Efficient Legal Service Hours, and seniority. Evaluation Bonuses will be paid in the following ranges:

The Salary Class of 2011 is not included in the Evaluation Bonus program, but eligible members of that class will be paid a First Year Bonus ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 (with a median bonus of $15,000) based on Efficient Legal Services Hours. Members of the Class of 2012 who met their prorated hours minimum will receive a bonus of $10,000 (prorated to reflect start date).

A special “high hours” bonus ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 (prorated in cases of associates with less than 100% Full Time Equivalents) will be paid to associates with Efficient Legal Service Hours in excess of 2500; these bonuses are not reflected in the chart above.

2012 Bonuses –- NY

In New York we will be paying bonuses to all eligible associates as previously announced. [Ed. note: We understand that the firm followed the Cravath scale in New York.] A special “high hours” bonus ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 (prorated in cases of associates with less than 100% Full Time Equivalents) will be paid to eligible NY associates with Efficient Legal Service Hours in excess of 2300.

2013 Associate Base Compensation

2013 associate base compensation for those on the U.S. compensation structure will be paid by Salary Class year, as shown below. There were no changes to the base compensation scale from that in 2012.

Of Counsel

Of Counsel compensation is determined on a case-by-case basis; individual 2013 arrangements will be finalized between now and April 30. Bonuses for 2012 will be paid with the February 15 payroll.


If you have questions after receipt of your bonus memo, please contact Cheryl Moser, Managing Director of Practice Administration. I invite you to bring more general questions about bonuses or base compensation to the meetings I will be having with non-partner attorneys on February 12, to contact your Associate Representative in anticipation of the Associate Rep meeting on February 25 at noon Eastern time, or to raise them with your Attorney Development Manager.

[1] The firm’s Compensation and Evaluation Brochure contains eligibility requirements and other important details applicable to bonuses and base compensation. Attorneys who are not paid on the U.S. compensation structure will receive separate communications regarding compensation.

[2] Payment dates may vary in some international offices.

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Davis Polk and MoFo (New York)
Associate Bonus Watch: Did MoFo Just Use Cravath as an Excuse to Screw Over New York Associates?

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