More Bonus News – And it’s a Little Different
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Two more firms have announced their bonus schedules and they’re a bit different from the Cravath scale.

Sullivan & Cromwell is paying bonuses ranging from $7500 to $35,000 depending on class year. The only change is at the high end where senior associates will receive $5000 more than at firms on the Cravath scale.

Patton Boggs is doing things differently. They are paying bonuses based on both class year and the number of billable hours by which an associate exceeded their target goal. The scale ranges from $5000 to $45000. You’ll note that it’s lower on the low end and higher on the high end, but more importantly it cuts out completely anyone that missed their target goal for billable hours. Given the state of the legal economy I have to wonder how many associates won’t be getting a bonus at all, and of those that do, how few are hitting that top mark.


Patton Boggs also told its associates that those that missed their billable hour target by a large enough amount would receive a salary cut. Missed by 300 hours? That’s a 10% pay cut. Missed by 500 hours? That’s a 20% pay cut. And since salaries are remaining frozen, that means a third year associate that missed by 500 hours will receive $122,000 next year while new first years get $160,000.


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