Cravath Swaine & Moore has officially kicked off this years bonus season. It should come as no surprise that bonuses are lower than last year. The class of 2008 will get a $7500 bonus, and the class of 2002 caps out the bonuses at $30,000.
On the one hand, these are low. On the other hand, everyone receiving a bonus still has a job, which in today’s legal economy is a bit of a bonus in and of itself. What remains to be seen is how other big firms will react. Will this trigger a race to the bottom with other firms using Cravath’s low bonus rates as an excuse or will other firms pay out bonuses more in keeping with their own bottom line? Either way, we’ll keep you posted!