Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a premier New York law firm, has kicked off the BigLaw bonus season by announcing bonuses ranging from $7,500 to $35,000 for its associates who have been employed at the firm prior to September 1, 2010.

While the senior-most associates or those who have been working for Cravath for seven years will be entitled to receive $35,000, new associates will get $7,500.

The bonuses will be paid on Friday, December 10, 2010, according to an internal memo dated Nov. 22.

The firm does not apply any billable hour or similar criteria in determining eligibility for associate bonuses. As always, while receipt of the bonus for each individual attorney is dependent on suitable performance at the attorney's experience level, virtually all of our associates will receive the full bonus, the memo said.

Attorneys who are working part-time will receive a pro-rated portion of the applicable class-level bonus. Bonuses for senior attorneys, specialist attorneys, discovery specialist attorneys and foreign associate attorneys will be determined on an individual basis, the memo said.

Cravath is No.2 in Vault's 2011 ranking of U.S. law firms with a prestige score of 8.653 out of 10.