Elite Law Firm Cravath Just Announced Surprisingly Good Bonuses

Cravath, Swaine & Moore, one of the country’s most profitable law firms, just announced a pretty sweet 2012 bonus scale.

And since Cravath is a leader in the industry, the fact that it’s paying out surprisingly cushy bonuses means we might be able to expect more of the same from other firms.

Here’s the bonus breakdown, courtesy of Above The Law:

cravath bonus schedule

Photo: via Above The Law

Last year the firm paid the class of 2010 $7,500 and the class of 2009 $10,000, so things seem to be looking up this year.

Which means things might be looking up across the board.

“In a quirky tradition lacking a sound explanation but one by which the industry abides, Cravath is the first to announce bonuses paid to its associates, and then other firms follow, either matching those figures — or not,” Dealbook’s Peter Lattman reported Monday.

These promising bonus numbers are a far cry from the dismal industry news we’ve been reporting for the past few weeks.

Earlier this month, we reported that law firms have been using short-term debt just to keep their heads above water until the end of the year.

And last quarter, the demand for legal services dropped .8 per cent, meaning work for lawyers across the board plummeted.

But things might be looking brighter.

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