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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 Technology & Innovation
#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 9.687
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
McDermott Will & Emery
#2
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 9.528
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Robinson & Cole 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 9.508
2021 Ranking #1
Orrick
#4
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 9.332
2021 Ranking #15
BakerHostetler
#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 9.326
2021 Ranking #13
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#6
Cozen O'Connor
At Cozen O’Connor, attorneys get to tackle exciting legal challenges while maintaining a life outside of work. Associates appreciate the autonomy they are given to do their jobs and the responsibility they are given early in their careers. With 30 offices across the U.S., U.K., and Canada, Cozen O’Connor is a full-service law firm. The firm’s client list ranges from Fortune 500 and middle-market firms to startups and individuals.
SCORE 9.262
2021 Ranking #7
Cozen O'Connor
#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. 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 9.203
2021 Ranking #3
Ropes & Gray
#8
Perkins Coie LLP
Pacific Northwest-powerhouse Perkins Coie cultivates collegiality through holistic hiring, social retreats, affinity groups, wellness programs, and more. Whether they hope to make partner or move in-house, associates here are in a good position. Today, the firm has more than 1,200 attorneys working across many industries, including aerospace and transportation, energy and natural resources, financial services and investments, life sciences and health care, retail and consumer products, and technology and communications.
SCORE 9.112
2021 Ranking #25
Perkins Coie LLP
#9
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 9.106
2021 Ranking #14
Clifford Chance US LLP
#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 9.053
2021 Ranking #10
Goodwin
#11
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 9.027
2021 Ranking #22
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
#12
White & Case LLP
Look up “global law firm” in the thesaurus, and you’ll find White & Case. A leader in cross-border work, the firm works across two dozen practice areas. The firm is home to a truly diverse team of lawyers and boasts a top-down commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace. The firm works across two dozen practice areas, from antitrust/competition to white collar/investigations. Among the 17 industries it works in are consumer products, financial institutions, manufacturing and industrial, media, mining and metals, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and health care, power, private equity, real estate, technology, and more.
SCORE 8.990
2021 Ranking #4
White & Case LLP
#13
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
SRZ attracts associates who are social and hardworking, and the firm 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 this commitment. Schulte Roth & Zabel today primarily advises clients in the financial services industry, with a particular emphasis on representing investment management firms. Relatively narrow in practice scope by BigLaw standards, SRZ trains its focus on investment management, corporate and transactional matters, and securities litigation.
SCORE 8.976
2021 Ranking #9
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
#14
Littler Mendelson P.C.
Labor and employment law is Littler Mendelson’s forte, and it dominates on an international scale. The firm has a massive footprint, with more than 1,500 attorneys across 58 offices nationwide and 36 abroad. Littler exclusively represents management, but its clients come in all sizes and industries, from Fortune 500 corporations to small, single-office businesses. The firm has also received a number of awards for its diversity initiatives and is known for offering its clients innovative solutions.
SCORE 8.953
2021 Ranking #6
Littler Mendelson P.C.
#15
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 8.926
2021 Ranking #21
Fenwick
#16
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 8.918
2021 Ranking #2
Latham & Watkins
#17
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Nine-hundred lawyers strong with a long list of lauded practice areas, there isn’t much that Akin Gump doesn’t excel at. Transparent? Check. Making strides in diversity? You bet. Walking the wellness walk? For sure. Social types who are down to earth will fit well at the firm. Founded in Texas in 1945, Akin Gump has grown to become one of the world’s largest law firms, with more than 900 lawyers across 20 offices around the globe, operating at the intersection of public policy, business, and the law.
SCORE 8.899
2021 Ranking #20
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
#18
Thompson Coburn LLP
Thompson Coburn is headquartered in St. Louis but has a coast-to-coast wingspan. No matter what type of law you want to practice, you’ll find it here—the firm has groups from admiralty and maritime law to mass tort litigation to white collar defense. The firm’s robust litigation practice covers such areas as banking and financial services litigation, business litigation, appellate, insurance litigation, IP litigation, securities and investment litigation, trust and estate litigation, white collar defense, and more.
SCORE 8.889
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Thompson Coburn LLP
#19
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 8.866
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#20
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 8.849
2021 Ranking #8
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#21
Carlton Fields, P.A.
Tops in the Sunshine State, Carlton Fields has 11 offices down the East Coast—five of which are in Florida. The firm has a strong national trial practice, as well as experience in myriad areas, including antitrust, business transactions, class actions, construction, employment, health care, insurance, litigation, M&A, real estate—to name some. The firm is also a standout in the diversity space, ranking among all of Vault's diversity categories.
SCORE 8.833
2021 Ranking #23
Carlton Fields, P.A.
#22
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 8.823
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Paul Hastings LLP
#23
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Wachtell has experience in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, takeovers and takeover defense, corporate and securities law and corporate governance.  They handle some of the largest, most complex and demanding transactions in the United States and around the world. They counsel both public and private acquirors and targets, handle sensitive investigation and litigation matters and corporate restructurings, and counsel boards of directors and senior management in critical situations.  They have a track record of original and groundbreaking solutions and innovations that have had a dramatic impact on business and law.
SCORE 8.760
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
#24
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 8.754
2021 Ranking #18
Proskauer Rose LLP
#25
Holland & Hart LLP
Holland & Hart has a reputation for being laid-back but goal-oriented, a fitting culture for a Western-states firm. Despite being a “regional” firm, Holland & Hart has a wide-reaching practice, with just under 500 attorneys serving clients worldwide in practice areas ranging from environmental to intellectual property and more. The firm also expects attorneys to contribute significant time each year to pro bono work, and it employs pro bono staff to help make that happen.
SCORE 8.733
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Holland & Hart LLP
#26
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 8.713
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#27
Kirkland & Ellis
A legal giant—both in size and reputation—Kirkland is the perfect firm for self-starters who are ready to take control of their legal careers. Associates at the firm agree that with the firm’s robust training and the firm’s name on their resumes, their futures are bright. Kirkland & Ellis, one the world’s most elite law firms, is known for its corporate, intellectual property, litigation, M&A, private equity, and restructuring work. With more than 2,900 lawyers, the firm is regularly recognized as one of the most successful in the world.
SCORE 8.706
2021 Ranking #11
Kirkland & Ellis
#28
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 8.705
2021 Ranking #5
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#29
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 8.677
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Shearman & Sterling LLP
#30
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 8.661
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Dechert