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Best Law Firms by Region
Associates rate the reputations of peer firms in their own regions. These rankings reveal the most prestigious law firms by region across the U.S. 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 in the South Atlantic
#1
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.
SCORE 7.864
2021 Ranking #3
Alston & Bird
#2
King & Spalding LLP
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. The firm is now organized into three large practice groups: Trial & Global Disputes (Litigation); Corporate, Finance & Investments (Transactional), and Government Matters (Regulatory/Investigations). The firm counsels clients across myriad industries, including automotive, transportation, and mobility; energy; financial services; food and beverage; franchise & hospitality; government investigations; and life sciences and health care.
SCORE 7.760
2021 Ranking #1
King & Spalding LLP
#3
McGuireWoods
If you are seeking a large firm—we’re talking more than 1,000 lawyers across 21 offices—that boasts a welcoming, respectful atmosphere, McGuireWoods may be the place for you. Teamwork is key at this full-service firm, which also highly values pro bono work. McGuireWoods regularly serves clients in the automotive, banking and financial services, chemical, energy resources, food processing, general manufacturing, government, health care, insurance, real estate, technology and telecom, and transportation industries.
SCORE 7.606
2021 Ranking #2
McGuireWoods
#4
K&L Gates LLP
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.
SCORE 6.891
2021 Ranking #4
K&L Gates LLP
#5
Moore & Van Allen PLLC
This Charlotte, NC, stalwart is one of the largest law firms in the Southeast and for the last decade and a half has been the only Charlotte-based law firm in the national top 100 in profits per partner. With more than 300 attorneys working out of only two offices—and 90 percent of those out of the Charlotte headquarters—Moore & Van Allen is a regional powerhouse.
SCORE 6.814
2021 Ranking #5
Moore & Van Allen  PLLC
#6
Troutman Pepper
Troutman Sanders was founded in Atlanta over a century ago, and Pepper Hamilton was launched more than 125 years ago in Philadelphia. In 2020, the firms merged, creating a megafirm with more than 25 domestic offices. Troutman Pepper lawyers work across more than 20 practice areas. Among the industries it serves are construction, energy, finance, health sciences, insurance, private equity, real estate, and technology.
SCORE 6.781
2021 Ranking #6
Troutman Pepper
#7
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Cadwalader has long been a place for talented associates to launch their careers. The firm offers strong training and mentorship, early hands-on experience, and endless career paths within and beyond the firm. Established more than 225 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Among its practices are capital markets, corporate, financial restructuring, litigation, and real estate. The firm is a well-established presence in Charlotte; London; New York; and Washington, DC.
SCORE 6.778
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
#8
Mayer Brown LLP
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. Mayer Brown is an international law firm with offices across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East that employs more than 1,600 lawyers—among the 25 largest law firm workforces in the world. Known for its top-flight corporate, finance, and appellate work, Mayer Brown serves many of the world’s largest companies, including a significant proportion of the Fortune 100, FTSE 100, CAC 40, DAX, Hang Seng, and Nikkei index companies, and more than half of the world’s largest banks.
SCORE 6.754
2021 Ranking #7
Mayer Brown LLP
#9
Winston & Strawn LLP
Winston’s Midwestern roots 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. Winston & Strawn has grown to a global law firm of nearly 1,000 attorneys across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winston is particularly known for its work in middle-market private equity, IP, labor and employment, renewable energy, sports law, and white collar.
SCORE 6.478
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Winston & Strawn LLP
#10
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.
SCORE 6.458
2021 Ranking #11
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
#11
Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
Robinson Bradshaw is a presence in the Carolinas, where it has deep roots. The firm specializes in corporate and commercial law, particularly complex corporate transactions and litigation. Robinson Bradshaw prides itself on its collaborative work style—unlike many of its peers, it eschews a billable-hours requirement so that lawyers can focus on the work itself rather than the compensation generated from the work.
SCORE 6.329
2021 Ranking #12
Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
#12
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Nelson Mullins employs attorneys, policy advisors, technical specialists, consultants and other professionals who work in more than a dozen locations across the U.S. The firm practices in more than 100 practice areas, including banking and financial services, corporate and securities, cybersecurity, employment, estate planning, health care, insurance, litigation, technology, white collar, and more. Pro bono is ingrained in the culture of Nelson Mullins, and since 1990, the firms’ lawyers have contributed more than 622,000 hours to pro bono clients
SCORE 6.244
2021 Ranking #8
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
#13
Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson focuses on energy and natural resources, financial institutions, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, retail and consumer, transportation and infrastructure, life sciences, pharma, communications and technology, private wealth, and healthcare sectors. The firm now has 27 offices in the U.K. and U.S. (including the firm’s newest office in Houston), with more than 1,000 attorneys, placing Womble Bond Dickinson among the AmLaw100.
SCORE 6.235
2021 Ranking #9
Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
#14
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein L.L.P
A North Carolina staple, Parker Poe has been operating in the Tar Heel State for over a century and a quarter. The firm traces its roots back to 1884, when it was founded in Charlotte, NC, by Heriot Clarkson, later a justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Now around 225 attorneys in eight regional offices, the firm represents many of the Southeast’s largest companies and local governments in transactions, regulatory issues, and complex litigation.
SCORE 6.227
2021 Ranking #10
#15
Holland & Knight LLP
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.
SCORE 6.147
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Holland & Knight LLP
#16
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
At Hunton Andrews Kurth, associates have work-life balance—but no lack of top-notch, substantive experience. The firm places a heavy emphasis on pro bono, reflected in the 100% attorney pro bono participation rate and broad array of opportunities. The result of 2018’s largest merger, Hunton Andrews Kurth pairs two firms that had been growing by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Mid-Atlantic-based Hunton & Williams brought leading global practices in privacy and cybersecurity, energy, financial services, and real estate while Houston’s Andrews Kurth Kenyon had recently grown to an international firm renowned for its energy, environmental, IP, and privacy practices.
SCORE 5.985
2021 Ranking #14
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
#17
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Don’t confuse Katten’s casual, friendly culture for a lack of challenging, interesting work—there is plenty of it to provide associates with early hands-on experience. Among other perks, associates value the firm’s strong support of pro bono work. With roots in Chicago, Katten has grown to nearly 700 attorneys across more than a dozen offices around the globe. The firm is known for its Corporate, Finance, Health Care, and Litigation practices, among others.
SCORE 5.826
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
#18
Fox Rothschild LLP
With an eye toward continuous growth, Fox Rothschild has been slowly expanding over the years. The firm has established itself in certain niche industries, including cannabis and media and entertainment. Associates looking for a firm to grow with long term should look no further than Fox Rothschild. Fox Rothschild is a well-established player in the business, corporate and securities, entertainment, intellectual property, labor and employment, employee benefits, real estate, creditors’ rights, litigation, and estates law fields. In addition to its more mainstream departments, Fox Rothschild has developed experience in niche practices, including sports and the highly regulated field of cannabis law.
SCORE 5.681
2021 Ranking #17
Fox Rothschild LLP
#19
Williams Mullen
Williams Mullen is a full-service law firm with more than 230 attorneys in offices across Virginia; North Carolina; South Carolina; and Washington, DC. Williams Mullen provides its clients with the sort of legal service that comes with its AmLaw 200 size, with fees that undercut its big city rivals.  Its practice groups include corporate law, litigation, finance and real estate. In addition, the firm offers more specialized practices, including employee benefits & executive compensation, environmental law, intellectual property, government contracts, government relations, health care, intellectual property, labor & employment, tax law and white collar & investigations.
SCORE 5.646
2021 Ranking #15
Williams Mullen
#20
Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP
With three offices in North Carolina, Brooks Pierce is a go-to law firm in the Tarheel state. Boasting a stand-out litigation practice, the firm is also known for its bankruptcy, corporate, employment, and environmental practices. The firm embraces a generalist model through which lawyers are not pinned down to one specific practice. The firm touts autonomy as one of its values and offers its lawyers freedom to explore practices and even change their focus over time. 
SCORE 5.551
2021 Ranking #18
Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP
#21
Nexsen Pruet
Nexsen Pruet employs more than 180 attorneys across eight offices in the Carolinas. Seventy-five years after its humble beginnings as a two-man South Carolina firm, it is now one of the largest and most profitable in the Southeast. A general business-oriented practice, Nexsen Pruet has a client roster that includes a number of the Carolina’s best-known companies and institutions, like the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals, Wells Fargo, and Honda Manufacturing of North America.
SCORE 5.362
2021 Ranking #13
Nexsen Pruet
#22
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Alabama-based, full-service law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings is a legal stronghold in the Southeastern U.S., with ten offices in six states and in Washington, DC. Its strategically located offices enable the firm to serve clients on a regional, national, and international level. Attorneys from the firm have represented clients like pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, country music singer Clint Black, and big banks Wachovia and Wells Fargo. The firm is dedicated to pro bono work and employs full-time pro bono counsel to help manage the program.
SCORE 5.354
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
#23
Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP
Smith Anderson is the largest business and litigation law firm in North Carolina’s Research Triangle region. Operating from a single Raleigh location, the firm’s more than 130 attorneys represent regional, national, and international companies ranging in size from large public companies to emerging growth businesses, with clients located in 23 countries and 43 U.S. states. Their practices include corporate, finance, government, health care, litigation, private client services, private equity, real estate, technology, and workplace law.
SCORE 5.310
2021 Ranking #16
Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP
#24
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP
Operating out of a single office in Raleigh, NC, Wyrick Robbins advises clients in four main areas: business, commercial real estate, litigation, and wealth preservation. The firm’s transactional lawyers work with clients in such areas as banking, information technology, life sciences, private equity, and venture capital. In the litigation area, Wyrick Robbins has experience in appellate litigation, general commercial litigation, family law, government contracting, and labor and employment. The firm also has a busy commercial real estate department that covering development, environmental issues, financing, and land use and permits—among other areas.
SCORE 5.043
2021 Ranking #20
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP
#25
Poyner Spruill
Hailing from the land of sweet tea and NCAA hoops, Poyner Spruill is a North Carolina firm through and through, with four offices all located in the Tar Heel state. The firm practices across myriad areas, with particular strength in health care, employment law, and employee benefits. Among the industries that Poyner Spruill serves are banking, construction, entertainment, energy, fintech, food and beverage, government, health care, insurance, nonprofit, real estate development, and transportation.
SCORE 4.887
2021 Ranking #19
Poyner Spruill