It’s become cliché to complain that the Christmas season has fully eclipsed Thanksgiving. As if you’re somehow going to end up short a turkey leg just because your neighbor put up lights already. Stop complaining that Thanksgiving has become the leadoff hitter of the holiday lineup and just embrace it.
That’s what Baker McKenzie seems to be doing, announcing its annual bonus scale. This is the second time Baker McKenzie has kicked off the season, having announced first in 2020 and the firm is making younger associates very happy, upping last year’s starting level bonus.
The prevailing scale last year ran from $15K to $115K so this is a nice gesture for the cub lawyers out there. We’ve heard plenty of speculation that firms might try to tie bonuses to associates getting back in the office. Thankfully that’s absent from this memo.
Though it’s not all good news. Baker McKenzie still sets its minimum billable hour expectations at 2000 for the year. Which in normal times isn’t that hard to hit in Biglaw, but with an economic speedbump hitting in 2022, there are probably a lot of associates out there simply unable to find enough work to get to the target. This may become a theme as we work through the season.
Will this be the final word on bonuses? Will another firm go over the top? We may have answers before Thanksgiving!
See, isn’t it great when we get started on the holiday season early?
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Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.