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Best Law Firms to Work For
Associates assess their own firms on a range of workplace issues related to career development, job satisfaction, and quality of life. 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 Associate/Partner Relations
#1
McDermott Will & Emery
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.
SCORE 9.664
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
McDermott Will & Emery
#2
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Long rooted in California, O’Melveny & Myers has branched out in all directions with offices in seven countries on three continents, including newly launched offices in Texas. The firm is known for its work in antitrust, appellate litigation, entertainment law, labor and employment, patent litigation, products liability, project finance, securities litigation, venture capital, and more. The firm works in a range of industries, including banking and financial services, consumer products, energy and natural resources, entertainment and media, health care, hospitality, industrials and manufacturing, life sciences, real estate, sports, technology, and transportation.
SCORE 9.473
2021 Ranking #1
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#3
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.
SCORE 9.403
2021 Ranking #4
Orrick
#4
Clifford Chance US LLP
As a global force, 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. Today, Clifford Chance has 32 offices spanning key markets across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with a particularly strong reputation in the financial sector. The firm offers substantive experience in a wide array of practice areas and industry sectors, including banking and finance, capital markets, corporate, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate, and tax pensions, and employment.
SCORE 9.377
2021 Ranking #7
Clifford Chance US LLP
#5
Robinson & Cole LLP
Robinson & Cole LLP has three offices across Connecticut, its home state, and boasts eight more offices across the U.S. At more than 200 lawyers strong, the firm serves clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Associates here are incredibly happy, which is clear from the firm’s placement in 13 of Vault’s quality of life rankings—including the No. 1 spot for integration of laterals and clerks (of which the firm hires many). The firm is also a leader in tech, wellness, and diversity.
SCORE 9.333
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Robinson & Cole LLP
#5
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.
SCORE 9.333
2021 Ranking #5
Ropes & Gray
#7
BakerHostetler
BakerHostetler’s culture reflects its Midwest roots—professional, yet warm and welcoming. Associates are also treated to strong mentorship and transparent leadership. The “IncuBaker” team is one sign of the firm’s commitment to innovation. With specialties in bankruptcy, digital assets and data management, labor and employment law, intellectual property, litigation, and tax, BakerHostetler works across 16 practice areas in a dozen industries and also focuses on emerging issues like blockchain, Internet of Things, new markets tax credit, and more.
SCORE 9.288
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
BakerHostetler
#8
Proskauer Rose LLP
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.
SCORE 9.279
2021 Ranking #10
Proskauer Rose LLP
#9
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 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.
SCORE 9.275
2021 Ranking #25
Dechert
#10
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Eversheds Sutherland is a legal behemoth, with thousands of lawyers practicing across such areas as corporate, energy, financial services, IP, litigation, real estate, and tax. Among its top practice areas includes tax, where the firm active in every area from planning the most complex corporate tax transactions to representing taxpayers in administrative and judicial tax controversies The firm also ranks high for associate quality of life, with particular recognition for its training and mentorship.
SCORE 9.246
2021 Ranking #9
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#11
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.
SCORE 9.234
2021 Ranking #23
WilmerHale
#12
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
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.
SCORE 9.225
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
#13
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
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.
SCORE 9.214
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
#14
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. Over the last few decades, Paul Hastings has grown from a mid-market U.S. firm to an international outfit with strengths in employment, tax, and business law and big-name clients in more than 80 countries. With offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo, the firm has become especially strong in Asian market dealings.
SCORE 9.206
2021 Ranking #22
Paul Hastings LLP
#15
Goodwin Procter LLP
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.
SCORE 9.202
2021 Ranking #13
Goodwin Procter LLP
#16
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.
SCORE 9.186
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#17
Foley Hoag LLP
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.
SCORE 9.174
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Foley Hoag LLP
#18
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. The firm’s core franchise practices include strategic and private equity, M&A, insurance, financial services transactions, fund formation, complex litigation, white collar/investigations, and international arbitration.
SCORE 9.153
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
#19
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.
SCORE 9.141
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fish & Richardson P.C.
#20
Gibbons P.C.
Gibbons is a standout law firm when it comes to mid-Atlantic, middle-market dealings. The firm has handled high-profile corporate transactions in both the public and private sectors as well as major litigations throughout the country. Since its founding in 1926, the firm has expanded its locations beyond Newark by opneing offices in New York; Philadelphia; Trenton; Red Bank (NJ); Wilmington; Washington, DC; and West Palm Beach.
SCORE 9.129
2021 Ranking #2
Gibbons P.C.
#21
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.
SCORE 9.126
2021 Ranking #11
Latham & Watkins
#22
Seward & Kissel LLP
With more than 150 attorneys in two offices, Seward & Kissel is known for its ties to the financial industry and especially its work with hedge funds. Those interested in maritime law will also find top-notch work here. Today, Seward & Kissel remains focused on the corporate and litigation needs of clients in the arenas of financial services, corporate finance, and capital markets. The firm has a national reputation for its work on behalf of large commercial banks, investment banking firms, investment advisers and related investment funds (hedge funds in particular), broker-dealers, institutional investors, and shipping companies.
SCORE 9.121
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Seward & Kissel LLP
#23
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
One of DC’s finest, and a global megafirm, Arnold & Porter is home to around 1,000 lawyers across 14 offices around the globe (plus an operations center in Tallahassee) and focuses heavily on mentoring, with mentoring budgets, shadowing opportunities, and multiple formal mentors for junior associates. The firm practices in more than 40 areas and is particularly well known for its antitrust, appellate litigation, environmental, and securities litigation practices, as well as its cross-border work.
SCORE 9.096
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
#24
Patterson Belknap
From its single New York office, Patterson Belknap is a heavy hitter across a full spectrum of litigation and corporate services. The firm is also vigorously devoted to pro bono, with an impressive resume of various matters and a long-standing 100% attorney participation rate in the program. To highlight one example, the firm received Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 “Pro Bono Firm of the Year” award for its work representing a union of Department of Homeland Security officers who opposed refugee entry restrictions.
SCORE 9.082
2021 Ranking #3
Patterson Belknap
#25
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.
SCORE 9.077
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Williams & Connolly LLP
#26
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
As an elite firm, 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 is a clear frontrunner as far as perks go. One of the New York elites, Willkie is home to more than 750 attorneys. In addition to its home in the Big Apple, the firm has offices in Chicago, DC, Houston, Palo Alto, and San Francisco, plus six locations across Europe. The firm is known for its work in antitrust, insurance, M&A, private equity, restructuring, and securities litigation, among other areas.
SCORE 9.073
2021 Ranking #16
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#27
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. Shearman & Sterling is one of the world’s leading law firms, serving the domestic and cross-border needs of an impressive roster of clients. With approximately 850 lawyers in 25 offices across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, the firm has an enviable blend of prestige, prowess, and reach.
SCORE 9.062
2021 Ranking #17
Shearman & Sterling LLP
#28
Jackson Walker
Jackson Walker is a Texas-based law firm with a national presence and global reach. With more than 400 attorneys, we're the second-largest firm in Texas and provide comprehensive services in a broad range of practice areas. We pride ourselves on being the kind of attorneys that clients enjoy working with.
SCORE 9.061
2021 Ranking #8
Jackson Walker
#29
Vinson & Elkins LLP
V&E’s lean-team model means great training for associates, with hands-on experience, strong partner mentorship, and opportunities to tackle new challenges. Overall, associates agree that V&E offers a great culture, great compensation, and great work. Today, Vinson & Elkins is a trusted adviser to clients in the most important industrial and digital industries, such as renewable energy, technology, banking/finance, M&A/private equity, real estate, media, complex litigation, and tax.
SCORE 9.041
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Vinson & Elkins LLP
#30
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.
SCORE 9.030
2021 Ranking #15
Covington & Burling
#30
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.
SCORE 9.030
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fenwick
#30
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Hughes Hubbard fosters a collegial environment where associates feel welcomed and respected. A recently revamped mentoring program and substantial responsibility on pro bono and billable matters provide great opportunities for quality legal training. Founded more than 130 years ago, Hughes Hubbard has a strong New York presence and a wide geographic reach from coast to coast and also internationally. The firm is home to 40 wide-ranging practice areas across the firm’s four core services: 1. corporate, tax, and private client; 2. finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy; 3. intellectual property; and 4. litigation, arbitration, and investigations.
SCORE 9.030
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP