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Latham & Watkins Announces Bonuses
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It is official, spring bonuses are late. In 2011, Sullivan & Cromwell announced its spring bonuses on January 21. It is now January 24 and we are still anxiously awaiting their spring bonus announcement.

It is still too early to worry about this yet, especially since Cravath took Sullivan’s scale and beat it with its own spring bonuses. It could be safe to say that Sullivan & Cromwell is waiting as long as possible to avoid this from happening a second year in a row.

  
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Spring bonuses are still expected to be issued in 2012 as there are too many law firms out there that pay more than Cravath does when it comes down to bonuses. Susan Webster, one of the partners at Cravath, is probably receiving congratulatory messages from others around Biglaw for her efforts in keeping bonus numbers as low as possible. On the other side of things, there are so many other law firms issuing much higher bonuses that the smart folks hired by Cravath will soon realize that they can make more money working for other firms.

Latham & Watkins is the most recent law firm to make the Cravath bonuses look meager. The median bonus from Latham & Watkins is much more generous than those from Cravath for mid-level and senior associates.

During this year’s bonus season we have seen that other firms are beating Cravath when it comes to those working in senior levels. The scale for the class of 2004 at Cravath ends at $37,500. The scale for those in the class of 2003 at Sullivan & Cromwell ends at $42,500.

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The most noticeable levels at law firms where Cravath bonuses are beaten include the senior levels. In this economy, the market tends to say that first and second year attorneys are not worth too much right now. On the other side of things, mid-level associates who survived the layoffs from 2009 are worth extra cash right now.

The scale of median bonuses by class year at the law firm of Latham & Watkins is as follows:



Class of 2010 — $8,000
Class of 2009 — $11,500
Class of 2008 — $21,000
Class of 2007 — $29,000
Class of 2006 — $35,000
Class of 2005 — $42,000
Class of 2004 — $51,000
Class of 2003 — $54,000



 

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