Summer has come up so fast that we seem to have forgotten that spring even happened, and as for associate bonuses at big firms, apparently those actually haven’t happened, according to ATL:
“I think we can say that the notion of spring bonuses is officially dead. It’s already June, and the summer solstice is right around the corner. The lockstep Biglawfirms are just not going to be paying spring bonuses this year.
But spring/summer tips are still alive and well. When Sullivan & Cromwell announced its spring bonuses, I wrote, ‘This isn’t a bonus, it’s a tip.’ S&C paid its associates between $1,000 and $5,000 this spring, a sum that is really a tip when you are a Biglaw Manhattan attorney.
Now Skadden is getting into the tip-giving game. The partners there are digging deep into their pockets and coming up with some loose change to dispense to their associates. If you work really hard at Skadden, you might just get a gift card! (Hey, it’s more than what Cravath is doing.)
So how much are we talking about?
A new program at Skadden allows partners to make “gifts” to high performing associates. Here’s the pertinent part of the email that was sent to all SASMF partners (reprinted in full on the next page):
We are pleased to launch a new program to provide you with a tangible means of expressing appreciation to your associates and counsel for exceptional efforts and performance. The Firm will be making $200 American Express gift cards available. While recognizing that there will and should be a fair degree of subjectivity in determining who should receive an “appreciation gift card”, the following guidelines should be considered….
Though we do not plan to impose strict limitations in terms of how often or how many gifts you may give, these gifts are intended to be something special, an unexpected recognition of exceptional efforts and performance. Please keep this in mind as you make your requests.
Surprise! Oh, did we ruin it? Well, you can see the full email on the next page, replete with details on the “guidelines” about what associates will have to do in order to get their hands on a precious, $200 gift card.”
Read the full post here…
Gift cards? This is a new one to us. And not a great sign. Any thoughts on if this is applying globally? Any tips on firms that are paying spring bonuses? Leave ‘em in the comments.
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