Congratulations to Northwestern University and Northwestern Law. The university just announced a $25 million gift, and $15 million of that will go to the law school.

The gift comes from Northwestern Law alum Neil Bluhm, who has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion. Although Bluhm made his fortune as a real estate and casino magnate, he took his first steps towards wealth in Biglaw. Bluhm worked as an associate and then a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown.

Speaking of Mayer Brown, the firm’s New York office just announced bonuses. Could they be the first big bucks banked by budding billionaires?

Quite possibly — although they’re not super-exciting. As Mayer Brown in New York has done in the past, the firm matched the Cravath scale.

It’s quite Cravathian, in fact. The main requirement for a bonus is that an associate be in good standing. There’s no explicit hours requirement, nor are there supplemental bonuses for high billers (as there are at, for example, Kaye Scholer and Schulte Roth).

But the timing differs. Cravath is paying out on Friday, December 20 — that’s tomorrow — while MB-NY won’t pay until Friday, March 7, 2014. So if you lateral out of Mayer early next year, you’ll have to leave some money on the table.

What will Mayer Brown’s other offices do? Feel free to let us know, by email or by text (646-820-8477), as the news rolls in. Thanks.

Law School Alumnus Neil Bluhm Gives $25 Million to Northwestern

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch (2010): Mayer Brown (NY) Matches


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