Biglaw

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgThe firm of Kaye Scholer is the latest to jump on the bonus bandwagon. They’ve just announced year-end and special bonuses. The year-end bonuses are issued in ranges for each class; the special bonuses, to be paid “on a discretionary basis,” appear to be on the standard scale ($10k/$15k/$20k, etc.).
Memo after the jump.

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dog French bulldog Above the Law blog.jpgLarge-firm lawyers are a busy lot. Who has time to walk the dog?
With this in mind, we pass along an inquiry from a reporter friend. She’s working on a story for a New York business publication about unusual perks at law firms — you know, like defibrillators.
Recruiters have told her that pet care services, such as dog-walking, are popular perks. But she has been unable to obtain confirmation. We also didn’t know offhand of specific firms that will pamper your pooch, as you bill away the hours.
But maybe some of you have this knowledge? If you know of a New York law firm that offers pet perks to its associates, please drop her a line, by email. Thanks.

Clifford Chance CC Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re looking for confirmation of the Clifford Chance bonus announcement we posted yesterday, check out this short article from Legal Week.
In other CC news, the firm is making overtures to LGBT lawyers, in the wake of its own Brokeback Lawfirm scandal. From TheLawyer.com:

Clifford Chance is setting up a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network just months after settling a sexual orientation discrimination claim from former competition partner Michael Bryceland….

Clifford Chance tax partner Stephen Shea, who has been active in setting up the LGBT group, said the firm established the network to further foster diversity, but also to respond to client demand. As reported by The Lawyer (21 May), JPMorgan now asks prospective panel firms for diversity statistics and companies such as Transport for London are following suit.

This is par for the course — and in the U.S., too. If you want law firms to focus more on diversity, or if you think they focus too much on it already, you need to look to their clients. Much of Biglaw’s current emphasis on diversity is being driven by clients: Fortune 500 companies that want to be able to say they have diverse teams of lawyers handling their legal matters.
Clifford Chance Joins the N.Y. Bonus Wars [Legal Week]
Clifford Chance set to launch gay network [TheLawyer.com]
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Clifford Chance Matches (For the Survivors)

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWow, it’s a miracle. We’ve been allowed to post something. And not twice.
The cryptic Cadwalader bonus memo, which doesn’t mention any numbers, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Cadwalader’s Number-Free Bonus Memo”

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWeil has announced special bonuses, to be paid at the end of this month, and year-end bonuses, which “will be paid at market to associates receiving an ‘Overall Strong’ rating and will be above market for associates receiving a ‘Distinguished’ rating in class years 2003 and above.”
Memo after the jump.

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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWhite & Case has announced special and year-end bonuses for its New York associates and counsel. They are at market levels, and will be paid to associates “who are performing at or above the level expected by the Firm.”
Memo after the jump.

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She probably wouldn’t be very happy with her law firm. From the Minority Law Journal:

[N]owadays most associates don’t plan on spending their entire legal career at one law firm. But some associates are more likely to head for the exits than others. Nearly half of all white male midlevel associates say that they expect to be working at their current firm in five years, according to our Minority Experience Study. Just over 40 percent of minority male midlevels said the same. Of the minority female midlevels, though, fewer than a third planned to stay put.

Minority women seem to have more reason to want to leave big firms, according to our findings. [The study] showed women of color experiencing less satisfaction and more obstacles at large firms than their peers, including men of color.

You can read the full article — replete with numerous quotes from “diversity advisers, “diversity consultants” and “diversity officers” — over here.
Janice Rogers Brown Above the Law Wanda Sykes.JPGP.S. Yes, the Wanda Sykes reference is pretty random. We just think that she is hilarious, and we try to mention her at every opportunity. We also think she bears an uncanny resemblance to one of our favorite jurists, Judge Janice Rogers Brown (D.C. Cir.; see photo at right).
P.P.S. And have you seen — or rather, heard — Wanda Sykes in the new Applebee’s ads? The restaurant chain has hired her to serve as the voice for their new “spokesapple.” Genius.
Why Are Minority Female Associates Leaving Law Firms? [Minority Law Journal]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday we wondered: “[A]re associate bonuses and layoffs just two sides of the same coin?”
The answer, at least at Clifford Chance, would appear to be yes. Just one day after announcing layoffs (of admittedly small scale — six associates), CC has announced year-end and special bonuses. The bonuses are at market levels and not tied to hours (or being “reasonably busy,” whatever that might mean).
Memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Clifford Chance Matches
(For the Survivors)”

Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney.JPGThe settlement of the litigation between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell is not even two weeks old, but we miss the case already. So that’s why we decided to write about the case for our column in this week’s New York Observer:

So exactly how much did it cost Sullivan & Cromwell to make Aaron Charney go away? That’s the parlor game New York lawyers have been playing since late last month, when a settlement was reached between the white-shoe law firm and its former associate, who had sued S&C for sexual-orientation discrimination. Most memorably, Charney said that a partner dropped a document on the floor and told him to “bend over and pick it up—I’m sure you like that.”

Although it was a P.R. nightmare for S&C—where’s Michael Clayton when you need him?—Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell offered countless hours of entertainment and schadenfreude for the Big Law chattering class. The lawsuit was first filed in January, so it took nine months to deliver this baby.

From S&C’s perspective, Rosemary’s. You can read the rest of the column over here. (For the irony-impaired among you, please note that our “calculations,” with their mock precision, are not to be taken seriously.)
One more observation about the case, after the jump.

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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgFried Frank has announced year-end and special bonuses for its associates and special counsel in its New York office. The numbers are consistent with those previously announced by other firms.
But whether this is a true market match is unclear, since the firm is a bit vague with respect to what percentage of associates will receive “special” bonuses. From the memo: “We will also be paying a one-time special bonus to associates on a discretionary basis based on performance…”
Read the full memo, after the jump.

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