Best Law Firms by Region

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2023 Best Law Firms in New York
#1

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.

SCORE 9.013

2022 Ranking

#2

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
#2

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.

SCORE 8.910

2022 Ranking

#1

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
#3

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.

SCORE 8.711

2022 Ranking

#3

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
#4

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.

SCORE 8.624

2022 Ranking

#4

Skadden
#5

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.

SCORE 8.443

2022 Ranking

#5

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
#6

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

One of the most elite corporate law firms, Simpson Thacher is a dream firm for anyone pursuing a career in transactional law. The firm boasts a supportive environment that highly values training—including through its robust training program STB Ready—and mentoring, which is fostered from those at the top.

SCORE 8.123

2022 Ranking

#6

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
#7

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Since its founding in 1875, Paul, Weiss has grown to nine offices—four domestic and five international—with nearly 1,000 attorneys. The firm attracts associates from a broad range of backgrounds who want to engage in sophisticated, complex legal matters. Paul, Weiss attorneys excel in the areas of complex litigation, public M&A, private equity, white collar and regulatory defense, restructuring, and capital markets. Associates appreciate not only the opportunity to learn from the best, but the firm’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and pro bono initiatives.

SCORE 8.070

2022 Ranking

#7

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

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.

SCORE 7.982

2022 Ranking

#8

Kirkland & Ellis
#8

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.

SCORE 7.982

2022 Ranking

#9

Latham & Watkins
#10

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

One of the New York elites, Debevoise is a leader in the private equity and M&A spaces and is also a go-to firm for white collar matters. The firm has a reputation of being intellectual and respectful and provides ample support to its associates—from extensive mentoring to career coaching. Associates wanting extensive pro bono opportunities will find Debevoise a great place to land, as helping underserved communities has been an area of focus since the firm’s founding in 1931.

SCORE 7.749

2022 Ranking

#12

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
#11

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.

SCORE 7.713

2022 Ranking

#10

Weil
#12

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

With 16 offices in financial centers across four continents and lawyers from more than 50 countries, Cleary is established worldwide as a law firm with a global reach. Known especially for its cross-border work, including representation of national governments, Cleary is among the most prestigious firms around. Good global citizenship takes on a distinct meaning in light of its many pro bono efforts. Intellectual curiosity and an amiable personality will go far in fitting in with the firm’s unique “Cleary Culture.”

SCORE 7.675

2022 Ranking

#11

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
#13

Milbank

Leading the charge in compensation, Milbank is among the most elite law firms for corporate law. The firm prioritizes mentoring and training, including through its highly regarded Milbank@Harvard program. Hardworking-yet-easygoing candidates will fit well with the firm’s friendly culture.

SCORE 7.354

2022 Ranking

#16

Milbank
#14

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.

SCORE 7.240

2022 Ranking

#13

Gibson Dunn
#15

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.

SCORE 7.068

2022 Ranking

#14

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
#16

White & Case

Look up “global law firm” in the thesaurus, and you’ll find White & Case. A leader in cross-border work, the firm works across two dozen practice areas. The firm is home to a truly diverse team of lawyers and boasts a top-down commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace.

SCORE 7.025

2022 Ranking

#15

White & Case
#17

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.

SCORE 6.838

2022 Ranking

#17

Sidley Austin LLP
#18

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. Ropes & Gray is committed to honoring its reputation as a firm that promotes friendship and camaraderie amongst all employees.

SCORE 6.633

2022 Ranking

#18

Ropes & Gray
#19

Proskauer Rose LLP

Tops for labor and employment and the go-to firm for media, entertainment, and sports, Proskauer Rose is an all around 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.

SCORE 6.492

2022 Ranking

#19

Proskauer Rose LLP
#20

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

As an elite firm with 13 global offices and approximately 1,000 attorneys, Willkie seeks top talent—but the firm is careful to hire only those who will contribute positively to the culture. Associates rave about many aspects of the firm, but great compensation and the absence of a billable hour requirement are clear frontrunners as far as perks go.

SCORE 6.414

2022 Ranking

#20

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#21

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.

SCORE 6.257

2022 Ranking

#21

Covington & Burling
#22

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 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.

SCORE 6.255

2022 Ranking

#25

Cooley
#23

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.

SCORE 6.235

2022 Ranking

#22

WilmerHale
#24

Paul Hastings LLP

Consistently among the top law firms for quality of life, Paul Hastings prioritizes associate mentorship, training, and long-term career development. Lawyers seeking an amiable, collaborative atmosphere where hard work and client service are valued will likely be a good fit at the firm. There’s no shortage of challenging legal matters to tackle, but the attorneys at Paul Hastings step up to the plate to produce excellence, while maintaining a relaxed culture and a good work-life balance.

SCORE 6.201

2022 Ranking

#23

Paul Hastings LLP
#25

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried Frank associates work on complex legal matters in a top-to-bottom friendly and social environment across five global offices and over 650 attorneys. The firm prioritizes its people and communities, with associate perks like generous wellness offerings—including fitness stipends and an associates-only lounge in the New York office—and a strong dedication to pro bono work.

SCORE 6.142

2022 Ranking

#24

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#26

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, including 17 global offices and more than 1,000 attorneys, 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. Diversity and related initiatives are key at MoFo as well, as DEI activities can count toward work hours.

SCORE 6.042

2022 Ranking

#26

Morrison & Foerster LLP
#27

Goodwin

With more than 1,800 lawyers across 14 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.

SCORE 5.960

2022 Ranking

#28

Goodwin
#28

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.

SCORE 5.849

2022 Ranking

#30

O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#29

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling offers high-level legal work coupled with supportive teammates and strong mentorship. For those seeking international experience, the firm’s global presence means exciting cross-border work and travel opportunities

SCORE 5.792

2022 Ranking

#29

Shearman & Sterling LLP
#30

Clifford Chance US LLP

As a global force since its merger in 1987, it’s no surprise Clifford Chance seeks candidates with international aspirations and foreign language skills. This Magic Circle firm offers a welcoming culture and interesting work, and it genuinely supports pro bono and diversity. One might assume that it would be easy to get lost in such a massive enterprise, but employee relations and firm transparency are exceptional.

SCORE 5.775

2022 Ranking

#33

Clifford Chance US LLP
#31

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

900 lawyers strong with a long list of lauded practice areas, there isn’t much at which Akin Gump doesn’t excel. Transparent? Check. Making strides in diversity? You bet. Walking the wellness walk? Absolutely. Social types who are down to earth will fit well at the firm. Akin Gump is a leader in lending a helping hand, with an attorney average of more than 100 hours devoted to pro bono clients per year and over 70% pro bono participation.

SCORE 5.770

2022 Ranking

#30

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
#32

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.

SCORE 5.760

2022 Ranking

#34

Jones Day
#33

Dechert

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.

SCORE 5.724

2022 Ranking

#36

Dechert
#34

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

If you are a self-starter, Cahill just might be the place for you. Associates have no billable-hours requirement, which leaves room for pro bono and other non-billable work. Above-market bonuses are certainly a perk that associates appreciate. The firm encourages associates to continue their development with the aid of Cahill Academy, the firm’s training program that covers a variety of topics relevant to everyday practice. With an open door policy, the attorneys at Cahill are a social bunch.

SCORE 5.690

2022 Ranking

#32

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
#35

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

A top firm for labor and employment work, Morgan Lewis has an expansive worldwide reach more than 30 offices. The firm attracts those who want to give back via pro bono work—20 hours are required for bonus eligibility—and who are seeking a non-hierarchical culture with ample transparency. Boasting an army of over 2,200 lawyers and legal professionals nationwide and worldwide, Morgan Lewis provides a wealth of opportunities to work on diverse and high-stakes matters among the firm’s core practice areas.

SCORE 5.678

2022 Ranking

#35

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#36

Linklaters

Linklaters is a Magic Circle firm with great opportunities for international work—and international travel, given its 31 worldwide offices. The firm receives high praises for requiring pro bono work as part of the formula. Compensation and partner-associate relations are other highlights for Linklaters associates.

SCORE 5.572

2022 Ranking

#39

Linklaters
#37

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

As the oldest law firm on Wall Street, Cadwalader has long been a place for talented associates to launch their careers. The firm offers early hands-on experience, access to elite clients, and endless career paths within and beyond the firm.

SCORE 5.535

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
#38

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.

SCORE 5.520

2022 Ranking

#26

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
#39

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 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.

SCORE 5.492

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

DLA Piper
#40

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston’s Midwestern roots—though it’s grown to ten domestic and six international offices—are reflected in its top-to-bottom friendly culture. Strong mentorship allows junior associates to quickly develop skills on high-profile matters, and robust wellness and diversity programs round out the Winston experience. Those hoping to find a strong pro bono commitment in a law firm will be pleased with Winston, as the firm ranks high in number of dedicated attorneys and attorney hours.

SCORE 5.485

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Winston & Strawn LLP