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Best Law Firms by Practice Area
These firms were voted strongest in each practice area by associates working in that area at peer firms. Vault's 2022 Rankings are derived from Vault's Annual Associate Survey conducted from March 2021 through May 2021.
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1 - 10
11 - 20
21 - 30
2022 Best Law Firms for Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
#1
Cooley
The go-to firm for startups and early-stage companies, Cooley is ideal for those seeking cutting-edge work with innovative clients. The firm has a highly social culture that will no doubt appeal to affable personalities and boasts a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. With more than 1,200 lawyers practicing across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Cooley is synonymous with tech and venture capital work. The firm is also well regarded for its clean tech, cyber/data/privacy, IP, M&A, private equity, and securities practices.
58.32% of
2021 Ranking #1
Cooley
#2
Wilson Sonsini
A leader in venture capital work and top ranked for intellectual property, Wilson Sonsini is a go-to firm for tech industry clients. Lawyers at the firm have an entrepreneurial mindset and strike the right balance between hard work and affability. With 950 attorneys across 16 offices around the world, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a global player with very deep tech roots. The firm has become a leader in tech licensing transactions, technology financings and M&A, and intellectual property.
37.09% of
2021 Ranking #2
Wilson Sonsini
#3
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
For those seeking work with startups, Gunderson Dettmer is the place to be. Associates are given substantial responsibility over interesting work from day one, and the firm's positive culture leads to strong relationships with colleagues and clients. The firm has expanded in the U.S. and internationally over the last few years. With offices in Ann Arbor, Boston, Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Singapore, the firm is an international specialist in emerging growth market matters for corporate and venture capital clients.
26.70% of
2021 Ranking #3
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
#4
Fenwick
Fenwick seeks tech-oriented, entrepreneurial types who thrive on autonomy and flexibility to work with its innovative client base. Associates who go above and beyond are rewarded here—the firm is known to dole out trips to the tropics. Well known for its innovative work with technology and life sciences companies, Fenwick is home to nearly 500 attorneys across seven offices. The firm has grown beyond its Silicon Valley roots, with three thriving offices in California, an established office in Seattle, a rapidly growing office in New York, an international office in China, and a newly opened office in Washington, DC.
21.91% of
2021 Ranking #4
Fenwick
#5
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 and recruits the best of the best. Those seeking autonomy to shape their practice plus extensive training and support will be pleased at this legal giant. Latham is one of the world’s largest law firms. With more than 3,000 attorneys in 30 offices around the world, Latham practices in all the major jurisdictions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and regularly represents companies doing business in Latin America and Africa. The firm is a global leader in corporate transactions, environmental law, finance matters, litigations and trials, and tax services.
16.55% of
2021 Ranking #6
Latham & Watkins
#6
Goodwin
With more than 1,400 lawyers across 13 offices, Goodwin has established itself as a global legal name. The firm boasts particular strength in corporate law and real estate, among other areas. Candidates seeking a highly transparent firm that prioritizes associate development will likely feel at home at Goodwin. The firm has adopted what it calls a “capital-meets-innovation platform” through which the firm advises both innovators and investors in the financial, private equity, real estate, technology, and life sciences industries.
15.52% of
2021 Ranking #5
Goodwin
#7
Kirkland & Ellis
A legal giant—both in size and reputation—Kirkland is the perfect firm for self-starters 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. Kirkland & Ellis, one the world’s most elite law firms, is known for its corporate, intellectual property, litigation, M&A, private equity, and restructuring work. With more than 2,900 lawyers, the firm is regularly recognized as one of the most successful in the world.
14.84% of
2021 Ranking #7
Kirkland & Ellis
#8
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Exemplary work is standard at MoFo, but as its nickname suggests, the firm—and its lawyers—don’t take themselves too seriously. MoFo excels in many practice areas, including IP and privacy, and is a stand-out in the pro bono area, assisting in a wide range of matters. MoFo complements its expertise in IP, finance, life sciences, technology, and litigation with a long reach across the Pacific Rim and, more recently, into Europe.
9.66% of
2021 Ranking #8
Morrison & Foerster LLP
#9
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. Orrick is a global firm of more than 1,100 attorneys that is fiercely committed to teamwork and innovation. The firm has dozens of offices across the globe, including domestic locations in California, New York, Oregon, and Texas.
8.79% of
2021 Ranking #9
Orrick
#10
Perkins Coie LLP
Pacific Northwest-powerhouse Perkins Coie cultivates collegiality through holistic hiring, social retreats, affinity groups, wellness programs, and more. Whether they hope to make partner or move in-house, associates here are in a good position. Today, the firm has more than 1,200 attorneys working across many industries, including aerospace and transportation, energy and natural resources, financial services and investments, life sciences and health care, retail and consumer products, and technology and communications.
6.59% of
2021 Ranking #11
Perkins Coie LLP
#11
Gibson Dunn
A litigation powerhouse, appellate all-star, and corporate law force, Gibson Dunn is a V10 firm with an impressive practice and client list. Gibson attracts go-getters who will succeed in the firm’s free-market system and mesh with the professional, amiable culture. With more than 1,400 attorneys across 10 countries, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is a force. Among the top firms in the country, Gibson Dunn is well known for its litigation and trial work—especially its bustling Appellate Litigation and Securities Litigation practices—as well as its top-notch antitrust, M&A, private equity, and real estate work, among others.
5.22% of
2021 Ranking #10
Gibson Dunn
#12
Ropes & Gray
A V20 law firm, Ropes & Gray has a seat at the table of the most elite law firms. The firm is known for its private equity chops, as well as its overall strength across legal practice areas. Training and mentoring are key to the firm’s collaborative culture, which has no room for egos. With 11 offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Ropes & Gray is an international firm that prides itself in handling cutting-edge work. A regular atop legal industry rankings, the firm is adept at assisting clients in complex, highly regulated industries like asset management, health care, life sciences, private equity, and technology.
5.12% of
2021 Ranking #12
Ropes & Gray
#13
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Long rooted in California, O’Melveny & Myers has branched out in all directions with offices in seven countries on three continents, including newly launched offices in Texas. The firm is known for its work in antitrust, appellate litigation, entertainment law, labor and employment, patent litigation, products liability, project finance, securities litigation, venture capital, and more. The firm works in a range of industries, including banking and financial services, consumer products, energy and natural resources, entertainment and media, health care, hospitality, industrials and manufacturing, life sciences, real estate, sports, technology, and transportation.
4.39% of
2021 Ranking #13
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#14
Jones Day
With a Midwestern culture of collegiality and teamwork, Jones Day is among the best of the best in the legal industry. 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. Jones Day boasts 42 offices in 17 countries, spread over five continents. The firm’s booming practices include antitrust, appellate litigation, financial markets, international law, IP, labor and employment, M&A, private equity, securities, and securities litigation—to name a handful.
4.05% of
2021 Ranking #15
Jones Day
#15
DLA Piper
Get your passport ready—DLA Piper has more than 90 offices around the world and is home to more than 4,000 lawyers. These lawyers work across dozens of practices, and the firm is lauded for its Data Protection, Privacy, and Security. Collaboration and professionalism are key to this firm’s collegial culture. DLA Piper advises clients across more than a dozen industries and eight major practice areas (with a host of sub-practices).
4.00% of
2021 Ranking #14
DLA Piper
#16
Baker McKenzie
With 69 international offices, Baker McKenzie is known for its cross-border work, and the firm often recruits candidates with global experience—or at least a genuine interest in international matters. The firm’s social environment makes it a good fit for those who value teamwork and camaraderie. While the firm wears many hats, it is most known for its cross-border work and its tax practice. The firm advises on an array of practice areas, including antitrust, capital markets, employment, intellectual property, international commercial and trade, M&A, private equity, real estate, restructuring, tax, and the list goes on.
2.54% of
2021 Ranking #18
Baker McKenzie
#16
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. This “brain trust” law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business—that business being antitrust, litigation, white collar defense & investigations, corporate, IP, export controls, data privacy and cybersecurity, and regulatory work—with particular strengths in the sports, insurance, life science/pharma, energy, tech, and media/entertainment industries.
2.54% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Covington & Burling
#18
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. With 1,000 lawyers across the U.S., Asia, and Europe, WilmerHale is known especially for its work in IP, securities, and appellate litigation, as well as its life sciences and technology experience. The firm counsels in a range of industries, including aviation; big data, Brexit; education; energy, environment, and natural resources; financial services; health care; insurance; media and entertainment; national security; professional services; and technology.
2.39% of
2021 Ranking #17
WilmerHale
#19
Dentons
As a global giant, Dentons provides a plethora of opportunities for associates to grow in their legal careers. Strong mentorship complements early responsibility, and many associates envision long-term careers at the firm. More than 12,000 lawyers at Dentons work in a grand total of 40 practice areas across 24 different sectors, such as energy, financial institutions, government, life sciences and health care, manufacturing, private equity, real estate, technology, and transportation.
2.20% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Dentons
#20
Pillsbury
With 700 attorneys and 20 offices around the world, Pillsbury is truly a global firm. But with six of its offices based in the Golden State, the firm still maintains the laid-back vibes of its West Coast roots. The firm’s legal work is concentrated primarily in four major industries—technology and media, energy, financial services, and real estate and construction sectors—and the firm has developed region-specific practices aimed at clients’ needs in and out of China, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
2.10% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Pillsbury
#20
Venable LLP
Venable prioritizes personality in the hiring process—those who are down-to-earth but take their work seriously will be a good fit here. Associates also appreciate that the firm provides work-life balance along with top-tier legal work. Venable specializes in corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, and government affairs. The firm’s Litigation practice carries a particularly heavy workload in products liability, toxic torts, and environmental law cases, with corporate defense being the group’s overwhelming forte.
2.10% of
2021 Ranking #20
Venable LLP