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Goodwin to Pay Special Bonuses, Expects to Match Cravath Scale

Nov. 24, 2020, 4:47 PM

As bonus season descends on Big Law, Goodwin Procter announced it will pay out special awards to associates, matching the fall scale for top billers.

These “special, one-time bonuses” will range from $7,500 for first-year associates who billed more than 1,850 hours and up to $40,000 for senior associates, according to a memo from Goodwin Partner Robert Carroll, chair of its attorney review committee.

Associates who billed below 1,850 hours will receive between $2,500 and $7,500, based on time at the firm.

Goodwin’s special bonus range for its top billers matches the scale of fall bonuses announced in September by Davis Polk & Wardwell. Davis Polk and other firms rewarded associates in the range of $7,500 to $40,000, based on time at the firm, for hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Others, like Goodwin, Kirkland & Ellis, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, and Cravath Swaine & Moore, declined to pay fall rewards, opting instead to stick with their year-end bonus structures.

Cravath, the perennial standard bearer in Big Law compensation, announced Monday it would hand out year-end awards ranging from $15,000 for first-year associates to $100,000 for senior associates, as well as a special bonus in line with the fall scale set by Davis Polk.

Shortly after Cravath’s announcement, Wall Street peer firm Paul Weiss also said it would be matching Cravath’s year-end and special-bonus scale.

“Goodwin has historically matched the New York scale and we expect that we will match this year as well when we announce our bonuses in January,” the firm said in a statement to Bloomberg Law.

In addition to special bonuses for associates, which will be paid out in December, Goodwin is giving awards to all other non-partner lawyers at the firm, including counsel, senior attorneys, department and discovery attorneys, science advisers and science law clerks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Hughes in Washington at; Tom P. Taylor at