Milbank will pay associate bonuses on what is rapidly becoming known as the Cravath scale. For the second year in a row, Cravath started bonus season off with bonuses far below those of two years ago, and firms have hastily fallen in behind issuing bonuses at the same rate. With numbers matching exactly there isn’t even a pretense that the bonuses are reflective of the firm’s actual profits for the year, and all three firms that have announced bonuses so far this year have said that nearly every associate will receive the full bonus, which means that they are no longer even pretending that the bonuses are conditional on an associate’s individual contribution to the firm.
First year associates will receive a bonus of $7,500 and seventh years will get $35,000. For most classes, these bonuses are exactly the same as last year’s, with only seventh year associates getting bumped up from $30,000.
But it’s still early and most firms have yet to announce their year end bonuses. Maybe they’ll surprise us.