NY bonus battles: Cravath sticks to its guns

Cravath Swaine & Moore is following Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s example by keeping New York associate bonuses at last year¹s rates.

In a memo released throughout the firm yesterday, Cravath stated it would pay first year qualified lawyers $17,500, second years at $19,000, third and fourth years at $24,000 with senior associates gaining a $25,000 bonus.

All Cravaths bonus rates are exactly the same as last year, like Skadden Arps which threw its hat into the ring early in the competitive New York legal market by announcing its own bonus rates would remain static.

Last year Skadden Arps paid bonuses between $2,500 for first years up to $20,000 for senior lawyers. While its bonuses are relatively small compared to other New York firms, Skadden Arps pays a higher base rates for beginners at $140,000 as opposed to rivals¹ $125,000 salary.