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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 Quality of Work
#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 9.612
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 9.339
2021 Ranking #1
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#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 9.311
2021 Ranking #2
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#4
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 9.280
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
#5
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 9.245
2021 Ranking #22
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#6
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 9.229
2021 Ranking #3
Paul Hastings LLP
#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 9.213
2021 Ranking #22
BakerHostetler
#8
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 9.212
2021 Ranking #8
Clifford Chance US LLP
#9
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 9.211
2021 Ranking #4
Orrick
#10
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 9.167
2021 Ranking #9
Goodwin
#11
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 9.146
2021 Ranking #7
Ropes & Gray
#12
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 9.077
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Sullivan & Worcester 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 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 9.041
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-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 9.036
2021 Ranking #16
Proskauer Rose LLP
#15
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 9.029
2021 Ranking #5
Gibson Dunn
#16
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 9.022
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Foley Hoag LLP
#17
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 9.000
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett 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 8.995
2021 Ranking #6
Latham & Watkins
#19
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 8.962
2021 Ranking #11
Shearman & Sterling LLP
#20
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 8.957
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#21
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 8.935
2021 Ranking #27
WilmerHale
#22
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 8.918
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fenwick
#23
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 8.904
2021 Ranking #19
Williams & Connolly LLP
#24
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 8.878
2021 Ranking #14
Jackson Walker
#25
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 8.864
2021 Ranking #10
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#26
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 8.806
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Robinson & Cole LLP
#27
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 8.800
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fish & Richardson P.C.
#28
Vinson & Elkins
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 8.791
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Vinson & Elkins
#29
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 8.783
2021 Ranking #26
#30
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 8.782
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
King & Spalding LLP
#30
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 8.782
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Sidley Austin LLP