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Susman Godfrey Beats Cravath’s Associate Bonus Scale
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Summary: Susman Godfrey’s 2017 year-end bonuses beat the Cravath scale. 

Houston-based law firm, Susman Godfrey, announced Monday that it will pay its associates a year-end bonus on a scale ranging from $45,000 to $170,000. According to Law.com, this is the second year that the litigation boutique has surpassed the money given out by industry trendsetter, Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

  
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In late November, Cravath informed its associates that they would pay them year-end bonuses ranging from $15,000 to $100,000. This scale is the same as what it has paid out over the past two years, and it is the scale that many other Big Law firms have also been using.

However, Susman Godfrey has exceeded the market, a move that they have become known for.

“We are having a good year. We also have recognized that we have a phenomenal crew of associates that worked very hard,” Houston partner Erica Harris said to Law.com.

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Susman Godfrey has 47 associates and 130 lawyers in offices in Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York. They announced that associates who worked for one full-year will receive $45,000 and more senior associates can receive up to $170,000. Additionally, two associates who were exceptional in business development will be awarded $220,000.

Harris said that these generous bonuses sent a message that the firm values its associates for their hard work.



“We really appreciate and understand you work really hard and put your all into it. You are the cream of the crop and we want you to be happy,” Harris said.

The Susman Godfrey Bonus Scale 2017

Class of 2015: $45,000
Class of 2014: $85,000
Class of 2013: $100,000
Class of 2012: $120,000
Class of 2011: $150,000
Class of 2010: $170,000

Susman Godfrey is not only known for its bonuses, but also for requiring all associates to complete a federal clerkship. According to Law.com, the firm only hires associates who have completed a federal clerkship, and associates generally make partner after working at the firm for six years. Exceptions are made for those who clerk for the Supreme Court.

Last year, Susman Godfrey also beat the Cravath scale and awarded associates bonuses ranging from $40,000 to $120,000. In 2015, the firm gave associates even more.

Harris stated that the firm will give out bonuses sometime this week.

In November, Cravath was the first firm to announce its bonuses, and others such as Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP stated that they would match Cravath’s bonus structure (see below.)

Cravath Bonus Structure 

Class of 2017 — $15,000 (pro-rated)
Class of 2016 — $15,000
Class of 2015 — $25,000
Class of 2014 — $50,000
Class of 2013 — $65,000
Class of 2012 — $80,000
Class of 2011 — $90,000
Class of 2010 — $100,000
Class of 2009 — $100,000

What do you think of Susman Godfrey? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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