Best Law Firms to Work For

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2023 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.

SCORE 9.702

2022 Ranking

#1

McDermott Will & Emery
#2

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 9.612

2022 Ranking

#10

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#3

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 9.550

2022 Ranking

#2

O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#4

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 9.532

2022 Ranking

#4

Clifford Chance US LLP
#5

Gibbons P.C.

Respected in the mid-Atlantic and beyond, Gibbons is a place for tackling substantive work—and making a mark with pro bono opportunities. The firm handles high-profile corporate transactions but is best known for its litigation department. Gibbons is home to 200 lawyers and a collegial culture that is flourishing at a firm stacked with former clerks.

SCORE 9.500

2022 Ranking

#20

Gibbons P.C.
#6

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 9.491

2022 Ranking

#16

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#7

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 9.482

2022 Ranking

#5

Ropes & Gray
#8

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. 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.

SCORE 9.463

2022 Ranking

#3

Orrick
#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 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 9.443

2022 Ranking

#9

Dechert
#10

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 9.388

2022 Ranking

#11

WilmerHale
#11

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 9.356

2022 Ranking

#14

Paul Hastings LLP
#12

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.

SCORE 9.328

2022 Ranking

#25

Williams & Connolly LLP
#13

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 9.323

2022 Ranking

#18

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
#14

Foley Hoag LLP

With headquarters in Boston, Foley Hoag is home to more than 300 lawyers who focus on more than a dozen practice areas. Low on hierarchy and big on transparency, the firm attracts lawyers who are collaborative and respectful. Small teams present the attorneys with a plethora of opportunities to spearhead their work, whether that be tackling public international law issues or committing their time to civic engagement.

SCORE 9.291

2022 Ranking

#17

Foley Hoag LLP
#15

BakerHostetler

BakerHostetler’s culture reflects its Midwest roots—professional, yet warm and welcoming. Associates are also treated to strong mentorship and transparent leadership. The cutting-edge “IncuBaker” team is one sign of the firm’s commitment to innovation, especially in helping clients navigate the intersection of digital business, emerging technologies, and the law.

SCORE 9.281

2022 Ranking

#7

BakerHostetler
#16

Locke Lord LLP

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. Communication is key at this collaborative firm and the social culture transcends beyond the walls of the office. Those seeking to gain quality experience, project leadership, and the ability to move up the ranks should look no further than Locke Lord.

SCORE 9.274

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Locke Lord LLP
#17

Robinson + Cole LLP

Robinson+Cole has ten offices spanning the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, California, and Florida, including two offices in its home state of Connecticut. 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 9.250

2022 Ranking

#5

Robinson + Cole LLP
#17

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP

One of the largest firms in Michigan, Warner Norcross & Judd prides itself on being capable of handling "your business matters from start to finish." And it's not only comprehensive and big, it's good. The firm has earned the title of “Best Corporate Law Firm in West Michigan” more than once from Corporate Board Member magazine.

SCORE 9.250

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
#19

Finnegan

Top-ranked for intellectual property, Finnegan is well known for its work in patent law—and its team of professionals has quite the impressive array of tech experience in addition to legal prowess. The firm is also known for its pro bono work supporting veterans. Finnegan takes training seriously, with extensive formal programming combined with an emphasis on mentoring. If you're seeking a supportive, team-oriented atmosphere, you will feel at home here.

SCORE 9.245

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Finnegan
#20

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields is ideal for associates seeking exciting international work. The firm is in an expansion phase, which means lots of opportunity for early hand-on experience—plus strong mentorship and a friendly culture are additional perks. Freshfields’ roots may date back to the 1700s, but the firm’s recent momentum in the U.S. awards an exciting career outlook for its associates. The attorneys at Freshfields have a global perspective which allows the firm to excel at handling complex, cross-border work.

SCORE 9.237

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
#21

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Founded in 1995 in Silicon Valley, Gunderson Dettmer has grown to 10 offices and more than 425 attorneys as the leading international law firm focusing solely on the innovation economy. They are world leaders in providing legal services to venture-backed and public technology and life sciences companies, as well as venture capital investors. Sophisticated work, amazing tutelage from partners, and office culture are highlights for associates.

SCORE 9.224

2022 Ranking

#12

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
#22

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 9.218

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Sidley Austin LLP
#23

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan is a litigation powerhouse, with a resume full of victories across industries and practices. The firm is especially known for its strengths in antitrust, intellectual property & technology litigation, insurance, mass torts, and plaintiff’s personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. Founded in Minneapolis, the firm has broadened its reach beyond the Midwest with offices across California, Massachusetts, New York, and the Dakotas. Beyond on-the-job training, professional development is a priority that the firm bolsters through its six-year trial academy program.

SCORE 9.212

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Robins Kaplan LLP
#24

Arnold & Porter

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.

SCORE 9.209

2022 Ranking

#23

Arnold & Porter
#25

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 9.205

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Linklaters
#26

Jackson Walker

Jackson Walker is the largest exclusively-Texan law firm, with over 450 attorneys working from seven offices across the state. Associates express high levels of satisfaction with nearly every aspect of firm life, from hours to culture to compensation to D&I. As a full-service firm, virtually all practice areas are represented, and associates enjoy a variety of sophisticated legal work.

SCORE 9.196

2022 Ranking

#28

Jackson Walker
#27

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 9.181

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Gibson Dunn
#28

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 9.166

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Cooley
#28

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 9.166

2022 Ranking

#21

Latham & Watkins
#30

Goulston & Storrs PC

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.

SCORE 9.158

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Goulston & Storrs PC