Throughout the entirety of the 2021 bonus season, Biglaw’s most-junior associates — members of the Class of 2021 — have lamented the fact that at some firms, they’ve been left off the year-end bonus grid entirely, and at virtually all firms, they’ve been left off the special bonus track. Thanks to one of the most elite firms in the country, that ends now.
Just before Christmas Eve, Latham & Watkins — a firm that brought in $4,333,763,000 gross revenue in 2020, placing it at No. 2 in the most recent Am Law 100 ranking — did something out of the ordinary and made a bonus move ahead of time. The firm is known for announcing its year-end bonuses in January (and they usually beat the going market rate). This year, the firm made an announcement in December, bringing extra holiday cheer to its attorneys.
Here’s the bonus scale that the firm is using. While it looks quite familiar, there’s one change that sure to please Latham’s youngest associates:
Unlike its peer firms, Latham is not Lathaming special bonuses for the Class of 2021. A major Biglaw firm is finally showing its newest associates some love in the form of special bonuses, and they’ll be bringing home $2,500.
Will any other law firms make an effort to match Latham’s largesse for stub-year associates? We suppose we’ll have to wait and see, but in this hot lateral market, offering up what amounts to a token amount of cash to the Class of 2021 should be an easy decision for law firm leaders to make.
Special bonuses at the firm will be paid on December 30, and its regular year-end bonuses will be announced and paid out in January 2022.
Congratulations to everyone at Latham!
(Flip to the next page to read the full memo from Latham & Watkins.)
Remember everyone, we depend on your tips to stay on top of important bonus updates, so when your firm matches, please text us (646-820-8477) or email us (subject line: “[Firm Name] Matches”). Please include the memo if available. You can take a photo of the memo and send it via text or email if you don’t want to forward the original PDF or Word file.
And if you’d like to sign up for ATL’s Bonus Alerts (which is the alert list we also use for salary announcements), please scroll down and enter your email address in the box below this post. If you previously signed up for the bonus alerts, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll receive an email notification within minutes of each bonus announcement that we publish. Thanks for your help!
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.