Law Firms Cut Junior-Lawyer Bonuses by as Much as 71 Percent

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Law firms including Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP cut year-end bonuses for first-year lawyers by as much as 71 percent, part of a bid to keep client costs down and ride out a recession that has forced structural changes in the industry.

Bonuses dropped for first-year associates at many top-tier New York firms while staying the same or increasing for more experienced associates. Bonus reductions, along with overall pay cuts, signal a diminished role for junior lawyers at the larger U.S. firms, said consultant Bruce MacEwen.

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Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.
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