Enough bad news, Biglaw Bonus Season is almost here

money question mark valuationIt’s November 8th and Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, which means bonus season is upon us. Wouldn’t it be nice if your law firm gave you a little something extra to be thankful for this year? We sure think it would be! After all, news from Biglaw has been a bit depressing of late, with worries of outright layoffs and covert layoffs plaguing staff minds. Let’s give these hardworking lawyers something to be happy about.

Let’s remember bonuses for a moment, shall we? Here’s what last year’s oversized Cravath bonuses looked like:

  • Class of 2021 – $15,000 (pro rata)
  • Class of 2020 – $20,000
  • Class of 2019 – $30,000
  • Class of 2018 – $57,500
  • Class of 2017 – $75,000
  • Class of 2016 – $90,000
  • Class of 2015 – $105,000
  • Class of 2014 – $115,000

As we noted in our annual bonus survey report, this year, unlike last year, nobody really expects any special bonus on top of their regular bonuses due to the current economic conditions. While that might be a bit overwhelming given last year’s bonus palooza, many of our sources have managed to convince themselves that absolutely anything is better than getting fired.

Wondering when your bank accounts will be a little snappier? Here is a list of the dates that year-end market premiums hit Biglaw since 2006, the very first year that Above the Law began posting bonus news. Just look:

If a company other than Cravath decides to lead the pack, bonus payments can now be made every day. The best employees can do now, while they wait, is just keep billing, just keep billing, just keep billing — that is, if they actually have any work that’s billable. In the meantime we will be here with you waiting for bonuses to be announced. Tick ​​tock, Biglaw….

Remember everyone, we depend on your tips to stay up to date with important bonus updates. So if your company has any announcements or games to announce, please text us (646-820-8477) or email us (subject line: “[Firm Name] Bonuses/Matches”). Please attach the memo if available. You can take a photo of the memo and send it via SMS or email if you don’t want to forward the original PDF or Word file.

And if you’d like to sign up for ATL’s bonus alerts (that’s the alert list we also use for salary announcements), please scroll down and enter your email address in the box below this post. If you have previously signed up for the bonus alerts, you do not need to do anything. You will receive an email notification within minutes of each bonus announcement we publish. Thanks for your help!


Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is Senior Editor at Above the Law, where she has worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please email her with any tips, questions, comments, or criticism. you can follow her Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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