David Lat & Elie Mystal

Posts by David Lat & Elie Mystal

Lat here. As Elie just predicted, Sullivan & Cromwell has shown up to Bigfoot the partnership of Cravath — sort of. It has announced a year-end bonus scale that is very similar to, but slightly better than, the Cravath bonus scale.

And, more importantly, it has promised spring bonuses. The ATL headquarters is around Soho, but we could hear the gnashing of partners’ teeth in both midtown and downtown Manhattan.

Let’s get into the specifics….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Sullivan & Cromwell ‘Beats’ Cravath — and Promises Spring Bonuses”

After yesterday’s excitement over the Boies Schiller bonuses, we’re back to the Cravath scale. Today Weil Gotshal came out with its year-end bonuses. The firm is matching Cravath.

Our sources report the Weil scale starts at $7,500 for full first-year associates — no stub-year bonus for the class of 2011, like at Milbank — and tops out $37,500.

UPDATE (12/15/11): Weil just announced that it will pay $42,500 to its most-senior associates, in accordance with the Sullivan & Cromwell bonus scale. Memo below.

Actually, for Weil associates this “match” could be even worse than last year’s bonuses. That’s because Weil followed through on its promise to phase out extra cash for top performers….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Weil Matches Cravath (And There’s Nothing ‘Distinguished’ About It)”

Happy Holidays from your ATL editors: Elie Mystal, Staci Zaretsky, and David Lat.

We were pleasantly surprised by how many of you seemed to be interested in our recent holiday party photos. So we’ve decided to bring you more, this time with the opportunity to offer your insights on our pictures.

(Yes, despite our new comments policy, we’re still happy to let you poke fun at us.)

Let’s have a look, shall we?

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Justice Clarence Thomas

Elie here. Imagine Santa Claus stopping by your house — except this time Saint Nick is a mute, who stuffs your stocking with personal responsibility and brings you wooden toys, because those were the only ones available when his legend was born.

Well, joking aside, Justice Clarence Thomas will be stopping by Yale Law School on December 14th. And since there won’t be a case in front of him, he’ll actually be talking.

But not to everybody. Sources tell us — and Yale Dean Robert Post confirmed, in a school-wide email — that Justice Thomas will be speaking to the Yale Federalist Society and to the Black Law Students Association, as well as attending a class and a private reception. He won’t be making any general public appearance.

Setting aside commencement, it’s fairly typical for guest speakers (including Supreme Court justices) to speak to specific student groups and not the law school at large. If Justice Elena Kagan went to Yale, she’d likely speak to the American Constitution Society and the Socratic Hard-Ass Faculty Coven.

Some students claim, however, that the Yale administration has contacted several student organizations and asked them not to protest during Thomas’s visit. We don’t know if that’s true, and a message from Dean Post (reprinted below) does not directly mention anything about student protests. But the mere rumor of Yale trying to quash protests, circulated on “The Wall” (the YLS list-serv), has made some students angry.

Should they be? Strap yourselves in for an ATL Debate….

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It took a little longer than most of you expected, but Cravath, Swaine & Moore just announced its 2011 associate bonuses (not long after announcing its new partners). Barring something very unforeseen, these bonuses are what many Biglaw firms, in New York and across the land, will pay out this year to their people. Historically Cravath has set the market with respect to year-end associate bonuses at major law firms.

The Cravath bonuses are what you might expect. They are in line with recent years, nothing crazy high or ridiculously low. Both Occupy Wall Street types and law firm associates can put away the pitchforks.

Let’s take a look at the official memorandum, and engage in some analysis….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Cravath Bonuses Are Out; Welcome to the 2011 Bonus Season!”

Smile if you received an offer!

Since our initial call for information about summer associate offer rates at major law firms, a number of people have contacted us with reports. As it turns out, there’s a lot of good news floating around out there for summer associates.

This leads us to two conclusions:

  • Biglaw firms only brought in people they could actually hire.
  • You class of 2011 people are some boring individuals.

Honestly, listening to your summer stories is like looking at the Facebook photos of a Mormon school group’s vacation to Amish country. We know that people are worried about getting offers in this tough market, but the risk-aversion of the summers this year borders on cowardice.

Live a little, have a drink, ask her for her number. It’s a job interview, not an audience with the Pope.

In any event, 100% offer rates abound. Let’s round them up….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Associate Offer Rates: An Update”

* If the Supreme Court grants cert to the Winklevoss twins, it’ll be time to start paying more attention to this Mayan prophecy. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Michigan’s public defender system is one of the worst in the country. So are we to understand that Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the #2 law school in the country, can’t even produce quality public defenders? [ABA Journal]

* If you’re a student at Liberty Law and can’t figure out that “God’s law” trumps “man’s law” on the final exam, then you are really beyond salvation. [Religion Dispatches]

* So you think you can dance? Well you can’t! Not at the Jefferson Memorial. Mwahaha. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Prominent Skadden partner Sheila Birnbaum, known as the “Queen of Torts,” has been picked as the special mistress master who will administer the new $2.8 billion fund for sick Ground Zero workers. [Wall Street Journal; Main Justice]

* Learn to write like a Supreme Court justice — you know, one of those people who writes things that nobody bothers to read. [An Associate's Mind]

* The Tea Party isn’t that irresponsible, right? They’re going to raise the debt ceiling, right? Or is it time to take all my money and put it in my mattress? [Huffington Post]

There’s a very interesting debate coming out of Washington State: Should universities do more to provide child care for students with children? On Monday, parents across the University of Washington system brought their kids to class to protest the lack of child care options in the area.

It’s an important question. According to the Seattle Times, child care is the third-greatest barrier to completing a college degree.

It’s a problem for law students too. The University of Washington School of Law has been taking an aggressive approach to finding family-friendly options for its students.

But is this something that law schools should be concerning themselves with? It’s time to fire up the old ATL Debate Machine….

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Paul Clement (left) and John Boehner (right)

* House Speaker John Boehner and former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, now at King & Spalding, have joined forces to fight marriage equality by defending DOMA. Talk about two people who will not be taking their talents to South Beach. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* The tax returns of Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been made public. Notes Professor Paul Caron: “It’s amazing how much more politicians give to charity in years in which they know their tax returns will be released to the public (although Biden still tosses around gifts to charity like manhole covers).” [TaxProf Blog]

* Sorry, Chief Judge Kozinski: Winkelvii non quitum. [Fox News]

* DLA Piper promotes 53 lawyers to partnership. For the blue wedge, name all the offices that are getting new partners. [Am Law Daily; DLA Piper (press release)]

* If you were underwhelmed with OCI at your law school, a new service — JD Match, founded by law-firm consultant and blogger Bruce MacEwen — wants to try to match you up with employers ready to hire. [WSJ Law Blog]

* People keep acting like their law firms are hunting for associates expressing discontent. But law firms aren’t as paranoid as Roger Ailes. [Gawker]

* It’s always nice when our nation’s legal system comes to the defense of punk bands. [Los Angeles Times]

* It’s almost time for the anniversary of the historical basis for Texas thinking it’s better than everybody else. [The Defense Rests via Blawg Review]

* Happy Passover to everyone. Don’t forget your blowtorches. [Wall Street Journal]

In an earlier round-up on spring bonus stragglers, we talked about Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, and Quinn Emanuel. Latham and Kirkland made spring bonus announcements a short while after our post, and now Quinn Emanuel is following suit.

Actually, not “following” — depending on how hard they work, QE associates can beat the market quite handily (as defined by Cravath). Quinn’s bonus structure always has significant escalators for high billable hours, and it’s no different with spring midyear bonuses.

Associates at Quinn who hit 2000 hours will get Cravath-level midyear bonuses. Associates at Quinn who hit 2100 hours will make as much in total bonus money, regular plus midyear, as their counterparts at Cravath. Quinn associates who bill over this mark will take home even more than their Cravath counterparts.

And, ye gods, QE associates can hit some ridiculous billable hour targets if they want to make the most of their time at Quinn….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Quinn Emanuel Matches Spring Bonuses at 2000 Hours — Then Things Get Crazy Fun”

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