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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 Integration of Laterals & Clerks
#1
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 9.500
2021 Ranking #8
Robinson & Cole LLP
#2
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 9.356
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
McDermott Will & Emery
#3
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 9.087
2021 Ranking #4
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#4
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 9.051
2021 Ranking #13
Ropes & Gray
#5
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Munger Tolles is incredibly selective, but if you’re hired, you’ve just joined a top-notch, tight-knit firm where associates participate in major firm decisions. With strong mentorship, new associates tackle exciting work from day one. Today, Munger Tolles operates over a half-dozen practice areas, with growing strength in criminal investigations and defense, as well as appellate work. Niche practices include tax and bankruptcy.
SCORE 9.050
2021 Ranking #3
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
#6
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 8.985
2021 Ranking #15
WilmerHale
#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 8.936
2021 Ranking #21
BakerHostetler
#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. 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 8.930
2021 Ranking #5
Orrick
#9
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 8.923
2021 Ranking #6
Gibbons P.C.
#10
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 8.897
2021 Ranking #1
Patterson Belknap
#11
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Fried Frank associates work on complex legal matters in a top-to-bottom friendly and social environment. The firm priorities its people and communities, with associate perks like generous wellness offerings and a strong dedication to pro bono work. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP advises many of the world’s leading corporations, investment funds, and financial institutions on their critical legal needs and business opportunities. With approximately 500 lawyers in North America and Europe, the firm excels in corporate, real estate, and tax work.
SCORE 8.864
2021 Ranking #24
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#12
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 8.832
2021 Ranking #2
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#13
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 8.806
2021 Ranking #26
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#14
Allen & Overy LLP
Magic Circle-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. As one would expect from a megafirm, A&O counsels in a wide variety of areas, from asset management and litigation to corporate and M&A to financial services regulation and regulatory compliance to securitization and tax—and everything in between.
SCORE 8.800
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Allen & Overy LLP
#15
Goodwin
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 8.792
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Goodwin
#16
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 8.762
2021 Ranking #10
Jackson Walker
#17
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 8.667
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Williams & Connolly LLP
#18
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 8.646
2021 Ranking #7
Latham & Watkins
#18
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 8.646
2021 Ranking #9
Shearman & Sterling LLP
#20
Gibson Dunn
A litigation powerhouse, appellate all-star, and corporate law force, Gibson Dunn is a V10 firm with an impressive practice and client list. Gibson attracts go-getters who will succeed in the firm’s free-market system and mesh with the professional, amiable culture. With more than 1,400 attorneys across 10 countries, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is a force. Among the top firms in the country, Gibson Dunn is well known for its litigation and trial work—especially its bustling Appellate Litigation and Securities Litigation practices—as well as its top-notch antitrust, M&A, private equity, and real estate work, among others.
SCORE 8.615
2021 Ranking #11
Gibson Dunn
#21
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills has 26 locations worldwide, including one U.S. office in New York. The firm prioritizes a diverse culture—it offers a number of affinity group networks and has received many awards for its dedication to diversity.
SCORE 8.563
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Herbert Smith Freehills 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. Sidley is a global powerhouse, with approximately 2,000 lawyers across 20 offices. The firm boasts a long list of marquee clients in a range of industries, including banking, energy, health care, insurance, life sciences, and technology. The firm’s work in complex transactional and litigation matters is bolstered by exceptional regulatory experience, and the firm features many former officials from governmental agencies in Europe, the U.S., and China.
SCORE 8.525
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Sidley Austin LLP
#23
Mintz
At Boston-based Mintz, associates feel they are truly part of a team. They appreciate leadership that is open to ideas, feedback, and questions. And they receive great training and mentorship, including through ample pro bono opportunities. The firm initially focused on real estate and the banking industry, with an interesting early niche of representing theaters and motion picture chains, but it has expanded into nearly every conceivable practice area.
SCORE 8.455
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Mintz
#24
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 has a highly social culture that will no doubt appeal to affable personalities and boasts a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. With more than 1,200 lawyers practicing across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Cooley is synonymous with tech and venture capital work. The firm is also well regarded for its clean tech, cyber/data/privacy, IP, M&A, private equity, and securities practices.
SCORE 8.435
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Cooley
#25
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Lowenstein Sandler offers a full suite of legal services, with more than 300 lawyers in five U.S. offices coast to coast. The firm works across various sectors, including consumer and retail, investment funds, life sciences, manufacturing, private clients, private equity, technology and media, and venture capital. Given its particular emphases on investment funds, life sciences, and technology, entrepreneurial-minded attorneys will thrive here. The firm also has a thriving pro bono practice through the Lowenstein Center for Public Interest.
SCORE 8.432
2021 Ranking #27
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
#26
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is a longtime Wall Street workhorse, housing elite teams in M&A, banking, capital markets and securities law.  The firm is a bit more versatile than many of its peers, however, boasting formidable prowess in private equity, litigation and intellectual property as well. The 1980s and 1990s saw the firm develop one of the world’s premier M&A practices, with a unique strength in private equity leveraged buyouts.  In recent years, Simpson Thacher has represented JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Wachovia, UBS and Travelers.  Private equity clients include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and The Blackstone Group, as well as First Reserve, Silver Lake Partners and Hellman & Friedman, among others.
SCORE 8.426
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
#27
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 8.415
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#28
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 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. MoFo complements its expertise in IP, finance, life sciences, technology, and litigation with a long reach across the Pacific Rim and, more recently, into Europe.
SCORE 8.397
2021 Ranking #22
Morrison & Foerster LLP
#29
Kramer Levin
With close to 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. Rooted in New York, with offices in Silicon Valley, and Paris, Kramer Levin is a full-service shop with 375 lawyers. The firm practices across dozens of areas with particular strength in bankruptcy, immigration, litigation, M&A, real estate, and white collar.
SCORE 8.375
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Kramer Levin
#30
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Based in the Big Apple, Kelley Drye & Warren has over 180 years of legal experience. With expertise in over 30 practice areas, the firm has compiled an impressive client roster including Arcelor Mittal USA, Bacardi, JPMorgan, LabCorp, Mylan, Nestle, and Take-Two Interactive Software. New York is Kelley Drye's birthplace and headquarters, but the firm's national footprint includes offices in other key markets, with its second-largest office located in Washington, DC.
SCORE 8.367
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP