The firm will pay associates on the same scale as last year and the year before, with the most recent law school graduates receiving $15,000 and senior associates earning as much as $100,000 on Dec. 16.
Less than two hours after the Cravath news was published, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison moved to match the firm’s scale with a memo of its own. The Paul Weiss bonuses will be paid on Dec. 23. A Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy spokeswomen confirmed Monday that the firm had sent a memo out to its associates announcing that it would also match Cravath’s bonus scale.
Though the bonuses are the same, they come on top of a base pay raise that Cravath announced in June, the first time the firm had raised associate pay since 2007. Under the new pay scale, associates receive $180,000 in their first year and $315,000 by the time they are in their eighth year at the law firms.
By the end of the summer, most Am Law 100 firms raised their associate pay to meet Cravath’s new scale. Like the raises, the top firms are likely to announce similar bonuses in the coming days and weeks. What remains to be seen is whether any firms will top Cravath’s bonuses, as Davis Polk & Wardwell did when it bested first-out-of-the-gate Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 2014.
Here is the bonus scale announced Monday by Cravath:
Class of 2016 — $15,000 (pro-rated)
Class of 2015 — $15,000
Class of 2014 — $25,000
Class of 2013 — $50,000
Class of 2012 — $65,000
Class of 2011 — $80,000
Class of 2010 — $90,000
Class of 2009 — $100,000
Class of 2008 — $100,000