Best Law Firms to Work For

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2022 Best Law Firms for Firm Culture
#1

McDermott Will & Emery

You can expect more from our Summer Program: Expect real-world guidance. Expect growth and development opportunities at the Firm and in the legal profession. Expect mentors giving you exposure to actual clients and meaningful work in Chambers-ranked practices. Year after year, our summer associates tell us that the work they are assigned is at a higher level than that given to their peers at other firms.

SCORE 9.552

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

McDermott Will & Emery
#2

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 9.482

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. 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 9.333

2021 Ranking

#2

Orrick
#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 9.316

2021 Ranking

#8

Clifford Chance US LLP
#5

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 9.306

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Robinson + Cole LLP
#6

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 9.165

2021 Ranking

#18

BakerHostetler
#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 9.164

2021 Ranking

#6

Ropes & Gray
#8

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 9.102

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#9

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 9.064

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Foley Hoag LLP
#10

Allen & Overy LLP

A top global firm, Allen & Overy handles significant international matters as it continues to grow in the U.S. Associates are treated to a collegial culture, and they appreciate the firm’s Compass program that allows them to receive ongoing feedback.

SCORE 9.000

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Allen & Overy LLP
#10

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 9.000

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Sullivan & Worcester LLP
#12

Jackson Walker LLP

Jackson Walker is the largest exclusively-Texan law firm, with over 400 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 8.980

2021 Ranking

#5

Jackson Walker LLP
#13

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 8.960

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Dechert
#14

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 8.944

2021 Ranking

#13

Proskauer Rose LLP
#15

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 8.919

2021 Ranking

#7

Latham & Watkins
#16

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 8.910

2021 Ranking

#10

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#17

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 8.904

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
#18

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 8.903

2021 Ranking

#4

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#19

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

HSF has thousands of lawyers across 26 global offices, but their only US office is a relatively small one in New York City, with about 50 lawyers. The firm’s midtown-based office focuses on commercial litigation, international arbitration, and investigations, offering a fairly unique opportunity to do international and cross-border work. Associates at the firm report general satisfaction with work hours, the type of work they do, and the culture of the firm.

SCORE 8.885

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
#20

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 8.848

2021 Ranking

#11

Paul Hastings LLP
#20

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 8.848

2021 Ranking

#23

WilmerHale
#22

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 8.843

2021 Ranking

#15

Goodwin
#23

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 8.838

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
#24

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

SRZ attracts associates who are social and hardworking, and it is a great fit for those interested in the financial services industry. The firm has a history of taking on high-profile pro bono matters and hasn’t wavered in its pro bono commitment.

SCORE 8.824

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
#25

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 8.822

2021 Ranking

#25

Finnegan
#26

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 8.811

2021 Ranking

#28

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
#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 8.792

2021 Ranking

#14

Gibson Dunn
#28

Kramer Levin

With 400 lawyers, Kramer Levin embraces a diversified practice model, with particular strength in bankruptcy, immigration, litigation, M&A, real estate, and white collar. Matters are staffed leanly, giving lawyers early and frequent opportunities for partner contact and sophisticated work.

SCORE 8.788

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Kramer Levin
#29

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 8.776

2021 Ranking

#3

Patterson Belknap
#30

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 8.759

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Williams & Connolly LLP