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.
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.
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.
One of Boston's top firms, Choate operates out of one office in Beantown—though its practice extends across the nation, with clients like JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Summit Partners, and more on its roster. The firm specializes in five main areas: complex litigation and investigations; finance and restructuring; life sciences and technology; middle-market private equity/M&A; and wealth management. The firm provides associates with ample hands-on experience and prioritizes associate feedback.
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.
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. Skadden is one of the most profitable and well-known law firms in the world. It was the first law firm to report $1 billion in annual revenue—now an industry brass ring. While the firm may be best known for its M&A prowess, it is an all-star across practice areas, boasting an army of about 1,700 lawyers around the globe.
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.
At Boston-based Mintz, associates feel they are truly part of a team. They appreciate leadership that is open to ideas, feedback, and questions. And they receive great training and mentorship, including through ample pro bono opportunities. The firm initially focused on real estate and the banking industry, with an interesting early niche of representing theaters and motion picture chains, but it has expanded into nearly every conceivable practice area.
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.
With headquarters in Boston, Foley Hoag is home to around 300 lawyers who focus on more than a dozen practices. Low on hierarchy and big on transparency, the firm attracts lawyers who are collaborative and respectful. Hailing from the land of red socks and chowder, Foley Hoag has stayed close to its Boston roots. With only four locations—in Massachusetts, New York, DC, and Paris—the firm is smaller than many of its BigLaw competitors. But Foley Hoag has made a name for itself with its strong practice and progressive history.
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.
Tops for labor and employment and the go-to firm for media, entertainment, and sports, Proskauer Rose is an all-over legal powerhouse. Pro bono is part of the firm’s lifeblood, as is a strong commitment to diversity. Amiable go-getters will do well in the firm’s supportive, team environment. Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with “sports law”—clients include Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and the National Basketball Association. Although flashy, this reputation shortchanges the firm’s incredibly diversified work, which features top-notch corporate, litigation, tax, private client services, entertainment, and labor and employment practices.
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.
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.
Goulston & Storrs is an AmLaw 200 firm with services across four main departments—corporate, litigation, private clients, and real estate—though it is most renowned for its real estate work. The firm emphasizes work-life balance, and while COVID has somewhat challenged the execution of that promise, the firm’s robust wellness offerings and lack of a billable-hours requirement speak to its commitment. Sometimes the stress gets higher than attorneys would like, but all in all, associates at Goulston & Storrs are very satisfied in their careers.
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.
Operating out of two offices in Massachusetts, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP is a northeast staple. A full-service, midsize firm, Nutter has around 150 lawyers working across a dozen industries. Lawyers at Nutter bring a host of experience in such areas as corporate, IP, labor and employment, litigation, privacy and data security, private client, public policy, real estate, and tax. The firm’s catch phrase is enough to set it apart from the competition: “uncommon law.”
At K&L Gates, attorneys tackle sophisticated work for high-caliber clients in a supportive environment. A free-market assignment system allows associates to exercise control over their workload, and more-senior attorneys act as willing mentors. K&L Gates is one of the largest law firms in the world, with close to 2,000 lawyers across five continents. Among the firm’s top-notch practices are corporate; energy and infrastructure; finance; intellectual property; labor, employment, and workplace safety; litigation and dispute resolution; policy and regulatory; real estate; and asset management and investment funds.
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.
Associates at Holland & Knight enjoy their work and appreciate their colleagues. The firm is a true pro bono leader, especially when it comes to its work supporting veterans. For those hoping to make partner, the firm provides a realistic pathway. With a political pedigree and strong Capitol Hill ties, the firm covers dozens of practice areas, from litigation, corporate law, intellectual property, and tax to more industry-specific teams.
Nixon Peabody is home to over 600 attorneys worldwide and offers litigation, real estate, corporate, and IP expertise. Beyond billables, pro bono is a source of pride for the firm, with a commitment of more than 3% of total time spent on pro bono. Nixon Peabody is recognized for its leadership in affordable housing and real estate, intellectual property, energy and environment, health care, tax, public finance, M&A, private equity, and complex commercial disputes.
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 diversity and innovation. In the United States, the firm is known for its work in antitrust, international arbitration, financial services, life sciences, strategic transactions and private equity, litigation, white collar, product liability, real estate, and securities.
Sitting comfortably among the V100 law firms, McDermott is best known for its work in health care and tax—though its practices extend far beyond. The firm is forward thinking when it comes to wellness, offering lawyers billable credit for 25 wellness hours, and will appeal to those seeking a collegial, supportive environment. While the firm is still known for its strength in tax, McDermott’s reach has expanded over the decades. The firm counsels its clients on newer areas such as life sciences, renewable energy, and privacy law, which complement its more traditional practices like M&A, antitrust, health care, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and insurance.
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.
Sullivan & Worcester advises clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 175 lawyers in Boston, London, New York, Tel Aviv, and Washington, DC, the firm offers services in a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, banking, trade finance, securities and mutual funds, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, tax, real estate and REITs, private equity and venture capital, bankruptcy, regulatory law, and employment and benefits. Many of the firm’s client relationships span more than 30 years across multiple generations.
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.
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.
Locke Lord offers top-tier legal work in a laid back, cordial environment. Lean staffing means early responsibility and experience for associates. With a number of women in leadership roles, the firm’s commitment to diversity shows in practice. Locke Lord is a full-service, international law firm of 20 offices and about 650 attorneys in locations across the U.S., as well as in Brussels and London. Locke Lord has received numerous industry recognitions as a global leader in the middle-market sector.
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. Hogan Lovells focuses on five major practices: corporate; finance; global regulatory; IP; and litigation, arbitration, and employment. Industries the firm focuses on run the gamut from aerospace and automotive to energy and financial institutions to life sciences and technology, plus many more.
Brown Rudnick takes pride in its reputation as a “tough” firm that isn’t afraid to stand up for the underdog. Though its attorney count hovers around 250, the firm has a global reach and handles legal matters for clients across a range of industries.