Career Development » Law Firm Bonus Race Heats Up

Law Firm Bonus Race Heats Up

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January 22, 2015

Associate bonuses are nearly back to pre-recession levels, at least in Chicago. There even have been a few “$100,000 thank-yous,” thanks largely to a healthy transactions business, according to an article in Crain’s Chicago Business. New York law firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and more recently Davis Polk & Wardwell, have set the de facto upper limit for the industry, but some Chicago firms – notably Kirkland & Ellis and Winston & Strawn – are up there with them. Crain’s looks at what these and some other Chicago firms are doing, and what some firms and industry analysts have to say about it. Associate bonuses at most of the biggest firms have one thing in common: You’re not in the running unless you have recorded enough billable hours, and 2,000 is the number to hit.

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