Best Law Firms by Practice Area

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2023 Best Law Firms for Appellate Litigation
#1

Gibson Dunn

A litigation powerhouse, appellate all-star, and corporate law force, Gibson Dunn is a V10 firm with impressive practice and client lists across its 20 worldwide offices. Gibson attracts go-getters who will succeed in the firm’s free-market system and mesh with the professional, amiable culture. Attorneys who want to engage in pro bono work, with hours satisfying billable requirements, will find robust, dynamic opportunities with Gibson Dunn. The firm’s flex-time program, with prorated hours and compensation, is attractive to many.

27.71% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#1

Gibson Dunn
#2

Williams & Connolly LLP

One of the most selective law firms, Williams & Connolly is a litigation standout, known for handling complex, high-stakes matters. The firm has a promote-from-within culture with an emphasis on organic mentorship. Associates have significant autonomy through the free-market assignment system and receive ample support for pro bono pursuits.

26.06% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#2

Williams & Connolly LLP
#3

Kirkland & Ellis

A legal giant—both in size and reputation—Kirkland is the perfect firm for driven individuals who are ready to take control of their legal careers. Associates at the firm agree that with the firm’s robust training and the firm’s name on their resumes, their futures are bright.

19.68% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#3

Kirkland & Ellis
#4

Jones Day

With a Midwestern culture of collegiality and teamwork, Jones Day is among the best of the best in the legal industry. Home to more than 2,500 attorneys in dozens of worldwide offices, clients can call upon vast resources and exceptional legal talent across jurisdictions and practice areas.  The firm boasts a long list of stand out practices—from labor and employment to private equity to appellate litigation—and is a leader in the pro bono space.

16.11% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#4

Jones Day
#5

WilmerHale

Handling cases that often make front page headlines, WilmerHale is a litigation super star, with particular strength in intellectual property. The firm boasts a respectful culture where associates feel supported by partners and have the resources they need to soar with high-level matters. The firm has a deeply-rooted commitment to pro bono and opportunities to dive headfirst into meaningful projects are around every corner. WilmerHale is a good fit for those looking for a hardworking but easy going environment.

12.45% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#5

WilmerHale
#6

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Munger Tolles is incredibly selective, but if you’re hired, you’ve just joined a top-notch, tight-knit firm where associates participate in major firm decisions. With strong mentorship—especially given that the firm is committed to maintaining a low partner-to-associate ratio, and that there are only 200 attorneys across three U.S. offices—new associates tackle exciting work from day one. Munger Tolles associates can expect meaningful pro bono opportunities, for which the firm has been recognized.

11.56% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#6

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
#7

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Vocal on civil rights and social justice, Paul Weiss attracts progressive types who value the firm’s high-profile pro bono work and its internal dedication to diversity and inclusion. The firm is a litigation all-star and also boasts a stand-out corporate practice. The firm is also known for its expertise in telecom and entertainment law. Today, the firm is active in racial justice efforts and assistance for those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in immigrant rights, reproductive rights, and voter protection efforts.

11.42% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#7

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
#8

Covington & Burling

Known for its white collar, antitrust, and corporate work—among other things—Covington is a mainstay in the top 20 of the Vault Law 100. The firm attracts intellectuals who lean progressive and thrive on collaboration, hard work, and giving back via pro bono matters.

11.33% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#8

Covington & Burling
#9

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

The opposite of a stuffy BigLaw firm, Quinn Emanuel is a unique combination of casual and ambitious. Lawyers who work at this top litigation shop are independent and motivated, with the autonomy to direct their workloads and the drive to tackle intense hours for complex matters—all while wearing jeans and flip flops (if they so choose). Quinn Emanuel attorneys are treated to a fully remote, work-from-anywhere policy, and have significant opportunities to work in any of their international offices.

11.29% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#9

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
#10

Hogan Lovells

Truly a megafirm, Hogan Lovells is home to close to 3,000 lawyers working across more than 50 offices. The firm is particularly well known for its privacy work as well as its high-profile pro bono matters. Lawyers who are down to earth and have a strong desire to give back through pro bono will fit well.

10.00% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#10

Hogan Lovells
#11

Sidley Austin LLP

With an impressive global footprint and a roster of top-notch clients, Sidley is the cream of the crop when it comes to law firms. Come for the sophisticated work, and stay for the polite, amiable Midwestern vibe—as well as a sincere commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace.

8.93% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#11

Sidley Austin LLP
#12

Kellogg Hansen

Kellogg Hansen offers those with clerkship experience a place to quickly sharpen their litigation skills. Associates work on small teams, which means direct interaction with partners and the opportunity to dive into challenging work from day one.

8.03% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#13

Kellogg Hansen
#13

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

With an illustrious history dating back to 1819, Cravath remains a leanly staffed, relatively small firm with headquarters in New York City and only one other small London office (and plans to open a DC office in the fall of 2022). Associates have no billable hour requirement yet bill among the highest hours of any top firm. Often described as “sink or swim,” the firm utilizes a unique work rotation system that lends itself to smaller, cooperative teams, close mentoring, substantial responsibility, and quick learning for associates.

7.59% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#12

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
#14

Latham & Watkins

You know you’ve made it in the legal industry when you’ve landed a spot at Latham. The firm is a global leader across dozens of practice areas, with over 3,000 lawyers in 15 countries, and recruits the best of the best. This globalization allows Latham to service clients with the finest legal resources, regardless of location. Those seeking autonomy to shape their practice plus extensive training and support will be pleased with their opportunities at this legal giant.

7.18% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#16

Latham & Watkins
#15

Skadden

From M&A to tax, Skadden is a legal powerhouse and mainstay among the most prestigious firms in Vault’s Top 100 ranking. Skadden lawyers are a social bunch who value teamwork and mentorship, while also diving headfirst into complex matters. From New York to Shanghai, the Skadden name is worldwide, with approximately 1,700 attorneys across eight U.S. offices and 13 international offices. Exit opportunities are endless for Skadden attorneys, due to the firm’s strong alumni network and prestigious name. The firm’s commitment to pro bono is unparalleled, with over two million hours dedicated to pro bono over the past 10 years.

6.96% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#14

Skadden
#16

Susman Godfrey

It doesn’t get better for litigators than Susman Godfrey, an elite litigation boutique with four domestic offices and only 140 attorneys. Junior associates are given immediate responsibility and are treated like future partners. Susman is known as well for other innovations, including contingency fee arrangements in representing both plaintiffs and defendants. And despite long hours and intense work, the firm is very social, and firm-hosted retreats are a notable favorite.  

6.74% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#15

Susman Godfrey
#17

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

A top law firm for quality of life year after year and a mainstay among the V30 firms—and the oldest firm in Los Angeles—O’Melveny is a highly sought after firm with hundreds of lawyers across 18 offices and seven countries. The firm prioritizes associate development and is a leader in diversity, pro bono, and attorney wellness. Its prominence in California has fostered exceptional opportunities in the area of entertainment law.

6.07% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#20

O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#18

Jenner & Block

It’s no surprise that Jenner & Block has such a friendly, down-to-earth culture—the firm is known for its strong commitment to pro bono and public service. Top-notch attorneys come here not just because they want to do good work—they want to do good. Associate development is a priority at the firm with mentorship opportunities abound. Boasting a strong appellate practice, Jenner & Block is a place for driven attorneys to tackle complex legal work.

5.62% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#16

Jenner & Block
#19

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

One of the most prestigious law firms, Sullivan & Cromwell subscribes to a generalist approach, allowing lawyers to work across industries and subgroups. Sullivan & Cromwell boasts an army of over 800 attorneys across eight countries. The firm prides itself on its mentoring and career advising, as well as its commitment to being a unified global practice by only staffing its offices with lawyers who have built their careers at S&C.

4.55% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#19

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
#20

Orrick

Innovation is the name of the game at Orrick—from the energy and tech clients the firm counsels, to its impactful wellbeing initiatives, to its modern technology tools. Associates who are down to earth, collaborative, and forward thinking will fit right in at this progressive firm. With offices in over 25 markets across the United States, Europe, and Asia, Orrick is a legal powerhouse with a dedication to pro bono, diversity, and competitive compensation.

4.42% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#23

Orrick
#21

Arnold & Porter

One of DC’s finest, and a global megafirm, Arnold & Porter is home to around 1,000 lawyers practicing across dozens of areas—with antitrust being one of the most notable. The firm focuses heavily on mentoring, with mentoring budgets, shadowing opportunities, and multiple formal mentors for junior associates. Pro bono is a big deal at Arnold & Porter, too, as the firm allows up to 200 hours to count toward the annual billable goal and has won numerous awards for its efforts.

4.11% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#22

Arnold & Porter
#22

Mayer Brown LLP

Among the largest law firms in the world, Mayer Brown does it all. Among its stand-out practice is appellate litigation—through which the firm has argued more than 250 cases before SCOTUS. The firm has a professional atmosphere where lawyers take control of their workload via the free-market system. Pro bono work is a hallmark of Mayer Brown, as it was the first major law firm to develop and implement a pro bono strategic plan.

4.02% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#21

Mayer Brown LLP
#23

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

Boies Schiller Flexner is the type of firm where associates toss aside the life vest and dive right in—and lawyers at this litigation powerhouse wouldn’t have it any other way. Litigators looking to roll up their sleeves and learn on the job will feel right at home here.

3.79% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#18

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
#24

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

M&A giant and leader of the New York legal market, Wachtell Lipton is one of the most elite law firms in the industry. Known for its high-profile matters and above-market compensation, Wachtell Lipton is home to a passionate group of lawyers who embrace hard work and professionalism. The firm is small by elite, BigLaw standards, which fosters a collegial atmosphere, and has spurned domestic or international expansion by maintaining a sole office in NYC.

3.35% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#24

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
#25

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

One of the oldest New York-based firms, boasting premier offices in Paris, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, and São Paulo, Davis Polk is renowned for its Securities/Capital Markets, Banking & Financial Services, and Securities and IP litigation practices. The firm prides itself on a collegial environment where associates are given the resources and support to learn and excel. Central staffing and lockstep compensation encourage associates to focus on client service and career development above numerical targets.

3.30% of Votes

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP