Lawyer Pay

Holiday bonus

Cravath, Swaine & Moore has once again announced year-end bonuses for associates that range from $15,000 to $100,000.

Cravath’s bonus amounts are the same as the last couple of years, but the announcement following a hike in base pay this year “translates into a nice payday for associates,” according to Above the Law, which broke the news. The New York Law Journal also has a story.

Cravath’s associate salaries range from $190,000 for new associates to $340,000 for the most experienced associates.

The announcement on Monday is about a week earlier than usual. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison quickly followed with its bonus announcement, as did the New York boutique law firm Holwell Shuster & Goldberg. Both firms are matching the Cravath scale. On Tuesday, more law firms jumped on board or even beat Cravath’s scale.

Cravath does not have a billable-hours requirement for a bonus, but payment is dependent on “suitable performance,” according to its bonus memo. “Virtually all” of its associates will be getting bonuses, the memo says.

Here is the Cravath bonus schedule:

• Class of 2018 — $15,000 (prorated)

• Class of 2017 — $15,000

• Class of 2016 — $25,000

• Class of 2015 — $50,000

• Class of 2014 — $65,000

• Class of 2013 — $80,000

• Class of 2012 — $90,000

• Class of 2011 — $100,000

• Class of 2010 — $100,000

Above the Law is keeping track of the bonus announcements. Besides Cravath and Paul Weiss, these large law firms announced bonuses on Tuesday (bonuses are at Cravath’s rate unless noted): Fried Frank (which matches the Cravath scale but offers a premium for high billers); Skadden (which matches Cravath and offers an extra $10,000 for senior associates with extraordinary performance), Proskauer Rose; and Debevoise & Plimpton.

Besides Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, these boutique law firms announced bonuses, according to the American Lawyer: Kaplan Hecker & Fink (paying $25,000 to $130,000), and Wilkinson Walsh & Eskovitz (reportedly paying $22,500 to $150,000).