Back to Rankings
Best Summer Associate Programs
Junior lawyers look back on their experiences as summer associates to rate the summer program on attorney interactions, career development, and social experiences. Vault's 2022 Rankings are derived from Vault's Annual Associate Survey conducted from March 2021 through May 2021.
Shield Image
Explore Related Ranking Categories
1 - 10
11 - 20
21 - 30
2022 Best Summer Programs for Attorney Interactions
#1
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 9.939
2021 Ranking #3
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#2
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 9.900
2021 Ranking #1
Clifford Chance US LLP
#3
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 9.884
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
McDermott Will & Emery
#4
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 9.840
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#5
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 9.790
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Proskauer Rose LLP
#6
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 9.750
2021 Ranking #7
Orrick
#7
Goulston & Storrs PC

One of Boston's top firms, Goulston & Storrs works across myriad industries but is most well known for its stellar Real Estate practice. Around half of the firm’s attorneys work in this area, advising clients like developers, entrepreneurs, investors, and REITS, as well as property owners and commercial tenants. Those seeking strong mentorship and transparent management will fit in well at the firm, which touts its collaborative culture with a motto of “Collaboration: Some law firms say it. We live it.”

SCORE 9.727
2021 Ranking #15
Goulston & Storrs PC
#8
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 9.700
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
#9
Wiley Rein LLP

Wiley Rein may be a one-office firm, but it packs a punch. It is known for its prominent Telecom, Media & Technology group comprising more than 60 top attorneys in the field and also—not surprising for a DC firm—for its government and policy work. The firm’s other major practices include insurance, government contracts, election law, international trade, and intellectual property. The firm represents a wide range of clients—from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations to individuals—in myriad industries, including energy, manufacturing, defense, aerospace, intelligence, information technology, professional services, telecommunications, health care, A&E, and construction.

SCORE 9.692
2021 Ranking #26
Wiley Rein LLP
#10
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 9.688
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Williams & Connolly LLP
#11
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 9.679
2021 Ranking #9
Dechert
#12
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 9.667
2021 Ranking #26
Foley Hoag LLP
#13
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 9.640
2021 Ranking #6
BakerHostetler
#14
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. Locke Lord is a full-service, international law firm of 20 offices and about 650 attorneys in locations across the U.S., as well as in Brussels and London. Locke Lord has received numerous industry recognitions as a global leader in the middle-market sector.

SCORE 9.579
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Locke Lord LLP
#15
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 9.565
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#16
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 9.561
2021 Ranking #21
Ropes & Gray
#17
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 9.560
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fish & Richardson P.C.
#18
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 9.538
2021 Ranking #10
Kramer Levin
#19
Arnold & Porter

One of DC’s finest, and a global megafirm, Arnold & Porter is home to around 1,000 lawyers across 14 offices around the globe (plus an operations center in Tallahassee) and focuses heavily on mentoring, with mentoring budgets, shadowing opportunities, and multiple formal mentors for junior associates. The firm practices in more than 40 areas and is particularly well known for its antitrust, appellate litigation, environmental, and securities litigation practices, as well as its cross-border work.

SCORE 9.531
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Arnold & Porter
#20
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 9.500
2021 Ranking #19
Cooley
#20
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 9.500
2021 Ranking #29
Fenwick
#20
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 9.500
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett 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. 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 9.500
2021 Ranking #30
WilmerHale
#20
Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston’s Midwestern roots are reflected in its top-to-bottom friendly culture. Strong mentorship allows junior associates to quickly develop skills on high-profile matters, and robust wellness and diversity programs round out the Winston experience. Winston & Strawn has grown to a global law firm of nearly 1,000 attorneys across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winston is particularly known for its work in middle-market private equity, IP, labor and employment, renewable energy, sports law, and white collar.

SCORE 9.500
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Winston & Strawn LLP
#25
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 9.481
2021 Ranking #24
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
#26
Fox Rothschild LLP

With an eye toward continuous growth, Fox Rothschild has been slowly expanding over the years. The firm has established itself in certain niche industries, including cannabis and media and entertainment. Associates looking for a firm to grow with long term should look no further than Fox Rothschild. Fox Rothschild is a well-established player in the business, corporate and securities, entertainment, intellectual property, labor and employment, employee benefits, real estate, creditors’ rights, litigation, and estates law fields. In addition to its more mainstream departments, Fox Rothschild has developed experience in niche practices, including sports and the highly regulated field of cannabis law.

SCORE 9.474
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fox Rothschild LLP
#27
Haynes and Boone, LLP

Headquartered in Dallas, it’s no surprise the culture at Haynes and Boone is as supportive and social as its Southern roots. With friendly colleagues and invested partners, associates get top-notch legal experience at a firm where they feel welcome. From its roots in Dallas-area corporate securities law, Haynes and Boone has expanded to 18 offices across the U.S. and abroad. Although much of its bread and butter remains with the Texas corporate scene, Haynes and Boone has used its presence in Shanghai and Mexico City to profit from Latin American and Chinese energy deals and international trade.

SCORE 9.469
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Haynes and Boone, LLP
#28
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Nelson Mullins employs attorneys, policy advisors, technical specialists, consultants and other professionals who work in more than a dozen locations across the U.S. The firm practices in more than 100 practice areas, including banking and financial services, corporate and securities, cybersecurity, employment, estate planning, health care, insurance, litigation, technology, white collar, and more. Pro bono is ingrained in the culture of Nelson Mullins, and since 1990, the firms’ lawyers have contributed more than 622,000 hours to pro bono clients. The partners of Nelson Mullin Riley & Scarborough LLP have elected 18 attorneys to the partnership effective Jan. 1, 2022, across 12 cities and seven states.

SCORE 9.462
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
#29
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, with offices spanning the U.S. and in four international cities, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is a recognized name in the intellectual property space, with nearly half of the firm’s attorneys practicing IP law. Clients have included household names like Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Krispy Kreme. The firm also excels in the business law, infrastructure, and financial dealings spaces, providing high-level, interesting work for all who work at Kilpatrick Townsend.

SCORE 9.455
2021 Ranking #4
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
#30
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 9.450
2021 Ranking #22
Paul Hastings LLP