The law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has announced that it will match the bonus scale set by the law firm of Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP earlier this month. The announcement of the bonus scale for Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP comes with a bit of a twist though. The twist is that half of the bonuses will be paid in the month of December and the other half of the bonuses will be paid in the spring of 2012, according to Law360.
The associates working at Schulte Roth will receive the same bonus amount, depending on how many years they have been with the firm, as the scale set up by Cravath. That scale includes $7,500 for first-year associates and $37,500 for seven-year associates. There is another caveat, Schulte Roth will also issue $10,000 bonuses to associates who worked 2,300 billable hours this year and $20,000 bonuses to associates who worked 2,500 billable hours this year.
The first half of the bonuses will be paid to associates on December 29 and the other half of the bonuses will be paid to associates on March 15, according to the law firm.
The bonus scale announced by Cravath back in November has become somewhat of a benchmark for the legal industry this year. Second-year associates will be receiving bonuses of $10,000. Third-year associates will be receiving bonuses of $15,000. Fourth-year associates will be receiving bonuses of $20,000. Fifth-year associates will be receiving bonuses of $25,000. Sixth-year associates will be receiving bonuses of $30,000. The most senior-level associates at Cravath are the ones hired in 2004.
The law firm will also issue late spring bonuses, for 2011, to its associates. The belated spring bonuses will range from $2,500 to $20,000, for associates hired between 2002 and 2010. The belated spring bonuses will be issued in chunks as well; with the first payment being issued in December and the second payment being issued in March. Associates hired in 2009 will receive a spring bonus of $7,500; associates hired in 2008 will receive a spring bonus of $10,000; associates hired in 2007 will receive a bonus of $15,000; and associates hired from 2002 to 2006 will receive bonuses of $20,000.
In recent weeks, there have been a handful of law firms that topped the bonus scale set forth by the firm of Cravath. Those firms include Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Debevoice & Plimpton LLP, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Clifford Chance LLP. Clifford Chance LLP reportedly announced that they will be handing out bonuses of $42,500 for associates hired in 2003 or earlier.
The bonus scale announced by Cravath for 2011 closely matches the scale they used in 2010, whch were exactly the same for each associate level except for the seventh-year level, which received lower bonuses in 2010.