Goodwin Offering Special Bonuses For Work During Pandemic

By Emily Sides
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Law360 (November 24, 2020, 6:35 PM EST) -- Goodwin Procter LLP will pay its nonpartner lawyers in the U.S. a one-time bonus — up to $40,000 — in December for their work throughout the year and the pandemic, which will be in addition to their annual bonuses in January, the firm announced Tuesday.

The firm's 715 non-partner attorneys based in the U.S. are set to receive special bonuses based on their position with the firm and the number of hours they've logged, according to a spokesperson. The firm's counsel, senior attorneys, associates, science advisers and science law clerks are eligible for the bonuses, while partners are not, the firm said.

Robert D. Carroll, the chair of the firm's Attorney Review Committee, told Law360 the firm has adapted to the pandemic by working with many colleagues and clients virtually.

"In spite of that, our clients have been continuing to be dynamic and successful during the pandemic, which is a testament to them," Carroll said. "They have continued to ask for our help in a range of legal services — transactional, advisory and litigation. And as a result, we've experienced strong demand and therefore asked our lawyers for hard work and a lot of contributions."

For the special bonuses, Goodwin is set to provide its counsel with a bonus of $40,000 if the lawyer has at least 1,750 billable hours under their belt, according to the firm's spokesperson. If counsel hasn't met that threshold, their bonus is set to be $7,500.

For associates, the bonuses are based not only on the number of hours worked but also the year they graduated from law school. 

Associates who graduated from law school in 2019 and have met at least 1,850 hours will receive a $7,500 bonus, according to the firm. If they haven't met that threshold, they will receive a $2,500 bonus, the firm said. Associates who graduated in 2018 are eligible for $10,000 or $2,500, depending if they've reached the 1,850-hour threshold.

Bonus amounts increase for earlier law school grads — those who graduated in 2013 or earlier are eligible for a $40,000 bonus if they've hit 1,850 hours, or $7,500 if they haven't.

Carroll said the special bonuses aim to highlight the diligence of its lawyers.

"We've asked our associates and other lawyers to work hard and we wanted to recognize that contribution in this particularly difficult period in a way that is separate from and above our annual bonus compensation cycle," Carroll said.

Goodwin employs 1,200 lawyers in 13 offices around the globe, including Boston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to the firm. Due to the firm's busy year, it is currently hiring attorneys, Carroll said.

Among other attorney groups receiving the bonuses, the firm said senior attorneys are set to receive a $20,000 bonus if they've hit at least 1,750 billable hours or $5,000 if they haven't worked at least that amount of hours. Goodwin's department and discovery attorneys are set to receive $7,500 if they have at least 1,750 hours, and if they haven't, their bonus is set to be $2,500.

The firm plans to consider an employee's hours for fiscal year 2020 or hours from May to October, whichever is higher, according to the firm. Goodwin employees must have been hired on or before Aug. 31 to be eligible to receive the December bonus, and bonuses are set to be prorated, according to the firm.

Goodwin laid off a number of nonattorney staff in April. While the firm wouldn't confirm how many employees were let go, tipsters reported it was about 50 staff members, according to a report by Above the Law.

--Additional reporting by Xiumei Dong. Editing by Alanna Weissman.

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