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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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2022 Best Law Firms for Intellectual Property
#1
Fish & Richardson P.C.
IP is the name of the game at Fish & Richardson, so be prepared to show off your technical or science background during interviews. Associates here are busy, but they are treated to a great culture, top-notch IP work, and lots of flexibility. The firm focuses mainly on IP litigation and counseling, as well as post-grant matters—but its breadth is reflected in the list of industries it serves. Fish handles IP matters for clients in more than a dozen industries, including biotechnology, energy, clean tech, consumer products, financial services, aerospace and defense, new media, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and more.
51.66% of
2021 Ranking #1
Fish & Richardson P.C.
#2
Finnegan
Top-ranked for intellectual property, Finnegan is well known for its work in patent law—and its team of professionals has quite the impressive array of tech experience in addition to legal prowess. The firm is also known for its pro bono work supporting veterans. Finnegan takes training seriously, with extensive formal programming combined with an emphasis on mentoring. If you're seeking a supportive, team-oriented atmosphere, you will feel at home here.
30.56% of
2021 Ranking #2
#3
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). The No. 1 firm in Vault’s General Commercial Litigation category, Quinn Emanuel’s litigation experience is wide ranging. Among the firm’s practices are antitrust, appellate, bankruptcy, corporate disputes, environmental, insurance, intellectual property, international matters, life sciences, media and entertainment, products liability, and much more.

20.78% of
2021 Ranking #3
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
#4
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.
17.22% of
2021 Ranking #4
Kirkland & Ellis
#5
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.
16.57% of
2021 Ranking #6
Cooley
#6
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.
12.45% of
2021 Ranking #5
Morrison & Foerster LLP
#6
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.
12.45% of
2021 Ranking #7
WilmerHale
#8
Irell & Manella LLP
Irell & Manella associates are lucky to work with friendly colleagues and partners who provide great mentorship and training. They also appreciate that they are given early responsibility and experience—and they are well compensated for it. A Southern California powerhouse for 80 years, Irell & Manella matches or exceeds its multinational peers in salary, prestige, and high-stakes cases, serving clients worldwide from just three locations in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Washington, DC.
11.72% of
2021 Ranking #12
Irell & Manella LLP
#9
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.
10.19% of
2021 Ranking #11
Latham & Watkins
#10
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.
9.38% of
2021 Ranking #8
Wilson Sonsini
#11
Knobbe Martens
Consistently ranked among the top intellectual property firms, Knobbe Martens is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States. From patents to trademark to copyright to data privacy, Knobbe is an IP all-star. Knobbe is also experienced in international IP matters. Among the industries the firm serves are biotechnology, block chain, clean tech, financial services, health care, media and entertainment, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, software and information technology, and more.
9.05% of
2021 Ranking #10
Knobbe Martens
#12
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.
8.81% of
2021 Ranking #9
Fenwick
#13
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.
5.74% of
2021 Ranking #13
Perkins Coie 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.
4.93% of
2021 Ranking #15
Jones Day
#15
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Born of a January 2011 merger between the Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton and the Bay Area’s Townsend and Townsend and Crew, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s 600+ attorneys have spread out from coast to coast and jumped to several continents. Kilpatrick is particularly strong in intellectual property litigation, infrastructure, business law, and financial dealings, and the firm approaches client work using a multi-disciplinary approach. Its clients include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Delta Airlines, Harley-Davidson, and Krispy Kreme.
4.45% of
2021 Ranking #14
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
#16
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.
4.29% of
2021 Ranking #19
Orrick
#17
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.
4.20% of
2021 Ranking #20
Goodwin
#17
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.
4.20% of
2021 Ranking #16
Ropes & Gray
#17
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.
Sterne Kessler is an IP powerhouse and over the years has had its hand in multiple cases that shaped the landscape of IP law. The DC-based firm represents clients like Google, Adidas, Apple, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Teva, Pepsico, and the University of California. Associates take pride in the firm's Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice—the first of its kind—that focuses on the interplay of intellectual property principles and human rights
4.20% of
2021 Ranking #16
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.
#20
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.
3.40% of
2021 Ranking #18
Covington & Burling
#21
Baker Botts L.L.P.
As the oldest BigLaw firm in Texas, Baker Botts gives attorneys exposure to a variety of high-caliber legal work—the icing on the cake is that it all happens in a collegial environment that fosters genuine friendships and organic mentorship. Baker Botts is perhaps best known for its Energy and Natural Resources practice. The firm holds a top spot in Vault’s Energy, Oil, & Gas ranking—and for good reason. The firm has handled more than 3,700 such matters across the globe in the past decade and advises on matters relating to oil, natural gas, liquified natural gas, coal, and renewables.
2.83% of
2021 Ranking #21
Baker Botts L.L.P.
#22
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. Sidley is a global powerhouse, with approximately 2,000 lawyers across 20 offices. The firm boasts a long list of marquee clients in a range of industries, including banking, energy, health care, insurance, life sciences, and technology. The firm’s work in complex transactional and litigation matters is bolstered by exceptional regulatory experience, and the firm features many former officials from governmental agencies in Europe, the U.S., and China.
2.67% of
2021 Ranking #22
Sidley Austin LLP
#23
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).
2.51% of
2021 Ranking #25
DLA Piper
#24
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
At Greenberg Traurig, attorneys receive cutting-edge work with colleagues they enjoy spending time with. Pro bono is a big emphasis here—the firm gets high marks for its dedication to supporting attorneys in a variety of endeavors. The firm’s lawyers work across practices, serving clients’ needs in financing, IP counseling, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, regulatory issues, tax, trusts and estates, and more. Among the firm’s specialties are sports facilities and entertainment venues, sports law, and video games and esports.
2.26% of
2021 Ranking #26
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
#24
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morgan Lewis has branched out from its Philadelphia roots to build a global network of lawyers in 31 offices, reaching from Boston to Singapore and San Francisco to Dubai. Practicing across the energy, financial services, health care, life sciences, retail, sports, technology, and transportation sectors, Morgan Lewis has a diverse range of experience. The firm has four core practices: corporate, finance, and investment management; IP; labor, employment, and benefits; and litigation, regulation, and investigations.
2.26% of
2021 Ranking #23
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#26
Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley & Lardner handles a wide range of business matters, and the majority of the firm’s major clients come from the automotive, energy, health care, life sciences, and technology fields. The firm is selective in who it brings aboard—maintaining the firm’s friendly culture is a must. Associates feel valued here, with willing partner mentors and an in-house attorney coach on standby to help with issues and career advice.
2.10% of
2021 Ranking #24
Foley & Lardner LLP
#27
Alston & Bird
Alston & Bird embodies Southern hospitality with its kind, friendly culture. Pro bono is a source of pride for associates, and the firm supports it with a unique opportunity for contribution bonuses based on non-billable hours. Alston & Bird is home to 800-plus lawyers located across the U.S., from its headquarters in the Peach State to nine additional domestic offices and three international locations. The firm has been recognized for its strength in such areas as health care, privacy and data security, real estate, and tax.
1.86% of
2021 Ranking #29
Alston & Bird
#27
Weil
A leader in bankruptcy and restructuring, Weil is an all-around legal superstar with a name that will shine on any resume. The firm is a good fit for team players who enjoy socializing and aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hard. The firm has pioneered major areas of law, such as corporate governance, private equity, and bankruptcy and restructuring. With approximately 1,100 lawyers, the firm has offices spanning three continents and six countries, and it continues to be one of the highest-grossing law firms in the world.
1.86% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Weil
#29
Arent Fox
Self-starters will thrive at Arent Fox, with challenging work and strong mentorship there for the taking. Associates are proud of the firm’s diversity and pro bono initiatives, such as the recently established Center for Racial Equality.  In addition to real estate, patent, trademark, and finance work, the firm also takes justifiable pride in its litigation, health care, and regulatory practices. With more than 450 lawyers and strengths across core practice areas, the firm’s client roster ranges from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations.
1.78% of
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Arent Fox
#29
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. Recognized for handling high-stakes, complex litigation, the firm has a thriving intellectual property practice ranging from pharmaceuticals to electronics, has presented oral argument to the Supreme Court 17 times in the last five years, and serves as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel for large product liability cases. The firm also represents numerous law firms and accounting firms in professional responsibility and other litigation.
1.78% of
2021 Ranking #27
Williams & Connolly LLP