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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.
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11 - 20
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2022 Best Summer Programs for Career Development
#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 9.791
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
McDermott Will & Emery
#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 9.791
2021 Ranking #1
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#3
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 9.641
2021 Ranking #2
Clifford Chance US LLP
#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 9.533
2021 Ranking #22
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#5
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 9.483
2021 Ranking #3
Orrick
#6
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 9.458
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Williams & Connolly 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 9.401
2021 Ranking #5
BakerHostetler
#8
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 9.366
2021 Ranking #26
Proskauer Rose LLP
#9
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 9.339
2021 Ranking #10
Paul Hastings LLP
#10
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
New York-based Stroock has four offices strategically located across the country to serve its clients on a full range of legal matters. The firm is a trusted advisor to the financial services and investment communities and has a special focus in financial restructuring, real estate, corporate, private funds and asset management, and litigation/enforcement. The firm takes pride in its diversity efforts, including affinity group and mandatory implicit bias training.
SCORE 9.333
2021 Ranking #17
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
#11
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 9.306
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#12
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 9.242
2021 Ranking #27
Goulston & Storrs PC
#13
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 9.233
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
#14
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 9.218
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
#15
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 9.214
2021 Ranking #9
Dechert
#16
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
With around 250 lawyers operating out of 10 offices across the U.S., Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP is a litigation powerhouse with extensive trial experience. Kasowitz’s bread and butter is litigation, with more than 200 of the firm’s lawyers focused on the area. The firm serves myriad industries, including financial services, manufacturing, media & telecommunications, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, real estate and hospitality, and technology.
SCORE 9.185
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
#17
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 9.178
2021 Ranking #6
White & Case LLP
#18
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 9.171
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
#19
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Cadwalader has long been a place for talented associates to launch their careers. The firm offers strong training and mentorship, early hands-on experience, and endless career paths within and beyond the firm. Established more than 225 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Among its practices are capital markets, corporate, financial restructuring, litigation, and real estate. The firm is a well-established presence in Charlotte; London; New York; and Washington, DC.
SCORE 9.149
2021 Ranking #10
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
#20
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
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 9.144
2021 Ranking #18
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
#21
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields is ideal for associates seeking exciting international work. The firm is in an expansion phase, which means lots of opportunity for early hand-on experience—plus strong mentorship and a friendly culture are additional perks. In the U.S. specifically, the firm works across more than a dozen industries, including automotive, chemicals, consumer goods, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, financial sponsors, government and public sector, infrastructure and transport, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and health care, professional and business services, real estate, and technology.
SCORE 9.127
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
#22
Pillsbury
With 700 attorneys and 20 offices around the world, Pillsbury is truly a global firm. But with six of its offices based in the Golden State, the firm still maintains the laid-back vibes of its West Coast roots. The firm’s legal work is concentrated primarily in four major industries—technology and media, energy, financial services, and real estate and construction sectors—and the firm has developed region-specific practices aimed at clients’ needs in and out of China, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
SCORE 9.119
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Pillsbury
#23
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 9.115
2021 Ranking #14
Cooley
#24
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 9.107
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Fish & Richardson P.C.
#25
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Hughes Hubbard fosters a collegial environment where associates feel welcomed and respected. A recently revamped mentoring program and substantial responsibility on pro bono and billable matters provide great opportunities for quality legal training. Founded more than 130 years ago, Hughes Hubbard has a strong New York presence and a wide geographic reach from coast to coast and also internationally. The firm is home to 40 wide-ranging practice areas across the firm’s four core services: 1. corporate, tax, and private client; 2. finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy; 3. intellectual property; and 4. litigation, arbitration, and investigations.
SCORE 9.077
2021 Ranking #13
Hughes Hubbard & Reed 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 9.065
2021 Ranking #15
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#27
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 9.042
2021 Ranking #23
Fenwick
#28
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Born of a January 2011 merger between the Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton and the Bay Area’s Townsend and Townsend and Crew, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s 600+ attorneys have spread out from coast to coast and jumped to several continents. Kilpatrick is particularly strong in intellectual property litigation, infrastructure, business law, and financial dealings, and the firm approaches client work using a multi-disciplinary approach. Its clients include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Delta Airlines, Harley-Davidson, and Krispy Kreme.
SCORE 9.030
2021 Ranking #4
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
#29
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
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 9.026
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
#30
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 9.023
2021 Ranking #Not Ranked
WilmerHale