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Morgan Lewis Adopts Merit-Based Bonuses
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Philadelphia’s Morgan Lewis & Bockius will adopt a merit-based bonus system for associates in 2009.

The firm is doing away with its requirement that associates log 2,000 billable hours in order to receive a bonus, as well as any promises that reaching that mark will ensure a bonus.

We still expect that an associate meeting our expectations will be sufficiently engaged that he or she will have 2,000 billable hours annually (including pro bono hours), and we will give substantial weight to the level of engagement in awarding bonuses. However, having at least or fewer than that number of billable hours in any fiscal year will neither guarantee nor preclude a bonus…


In deciding on bonuses, we will look at the entire picture of an associate’s contribution, including level of engagement, efficiency and value in serving clients, excellence, results achieved, contribution to our culture, participation in our programs, and other factors.

In other words, they’ll give bonuses to whomever they want; and undoubtedly not as many.

The new bonus structure took effect with the start of the 2009 fiscal year on October 1st, 2008, and the change will not affect 2008 bonuses, which the firm has yet to announce.

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