New York, NY. In a surprising turn of events, multiple top law firms have announced they will not be paying the year-end associate bonuses. Though only five firms have announced the formal “no bonus policy”, given the lemming-like nature of law firms, all other firms are expected to follow suit.
“We were trying to figure out the best bonus structure for this year,” explained one equity partner at Straite, White, and Mann, a prestigious law firm headquartered in New York. “But then we realized that if we refused to pay bonuses, other firms would realize that they could get away without paying bonuses too. It’s not like we’re a cartel, carefully structured to avoid anti-trust allegations. We like to think of our pay structure as a ‘happy coincidence.’”
Though firms admit to bonus races in previous years, as soon as they understood the rational behind SWM’s position the firms did indeed fall in line. “I mean, what can our associates do about it? Go work for Wachtell?” explained one, unnamed partner to Burden of Persuasion reporters. “Don’t be silly. Most of our associates have three or four Bs on their elementary school transcript. They’d never get hired.”
In addition to the bonus policy, several firms have stated that given the lock-step nature of salaries generally, they have not ruled out reducing associate salary from the 160k starting point. “I mean, at the end of the day, our associates get to work 24/7 on some of the most intellectually rigorous problems facing our nation. Isn’t that reward enough?”