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.
18.41% of Votes
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.
15.24% of Votes
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 over 1,600 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.
14.89% of Votes
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.
12.95% of Votes
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.
11.63% of Votes
With offices in 16 locations throughout the U.S. and one in London, Shook, Hardy & Bacon has built a reputation as a top firm in a number of practices, but it is especially regarded for its expertise in complex litigation and products liability. Shook is a strong supporter of associate development, offering in-house training that covers topics including writing, negotiations, and trial skills. The firm is particularly well known in the product liability area, especially for its work on behalf of pharmaceutical, medical device, technology, and automotive companies.
8.99% of Votes
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.
8.90% of Votes
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 13 major practices, and the firm is lauded for its Data Protection, Privacy, and Security. Collaboration and professionalism are key to this firm’s collegial culture. Associates enjoy strong relationships with partners and benefit from an extensive team dedicated to pro bono work.
8.46% of Votes
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.
7.84% of Votes
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.
7.75% of Votes
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.
7.58% of Votes
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.
6.70% of Votes
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.
6.61% of Votes
With an illustrious history dating back to 1819, Cravath remains a leanly staffed, relatively small firm with headquarters in New York City and one other small office in London. 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.
6.61% of Votes
Focusing on litigation, regulatory, and transactional work, King & Spalding’s Atlanta roots set a tone of “southern hospitality” throughout the firm. Come for the collegiality and mentorship, stay for the free Coca Cola. After almost 100 years in Atlanta alone, K&S is now widely regarded as a global firm with 23 offices worldwide and more than 1,200 attorneys.
6.26% of Votes
Dechert is a global firm, but its collegial culture seems to create a sense of close community. The firm encourages attorneys to participate beyond billables, offering a “STARS” award and bonus for contributions related to teaching, diversity and innovation. It is recognized as well as one of the best law firms for pro bono work, with many accolades and many hours contributed every year.
6.08% of Votes
The go-to firm for startups and early-stage companies, Cooley is ideal for those seeking cutting-edge work with innovative clients. The firm is also known for its work with life science and technology companies. Cooley has a highly social culture in 17 worldwide offices that will no doubt appeal to affable personalities, and boasts a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.
5.46% of Votes
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 doesn’t fall short on attorneys that have an entrepreneurial mindset and a drive to take responsibility on sophisticated matters with the support of razor sharp mentors. Greenberg Traurig looks outside the traditional legal model to provide enhanced services to clients based on innovation.
5.37% of Votes
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.
5.37% of Votes
Reed Smith is the perfect fit for associates who want to take on challenging legal work in a relaxed, welcoming environment. Partners here are active mentors, and on-the-job training is supplemented with courses through Reed Smith University. The social sphere surpasses borders at Reed Smith where associates can work alongside attorneys in any one of its 13 international offices or 17 domestic offices. Reed Smith doesn’t shy away from taking on the responsibility of advising some of the largest companies in the world.
5.02% of Votes
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.
4.93% of Votes
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.
4.49% of Votes
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. Providing legal services to some of the world’s most innovative companies, Perkins Coie attorneys take pride in performing substantive, meaningful work. While its history is rooted in aerospace and transportation, Perkins Coie has stretched its services far and wide across its domestic and international offices.
4.32% of Votes
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.
4.14% of Votes
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.
3.97% of Votes