With an illustrious history dating back to 1819, Cravath remains a leanly staffed, relatively small firm with headquarters in New York City and only one other small London office (and plans to open a DC office in the fall of 2022). Associates have no billable hour requirement yet bill among the highest hours of any top firm. Often described as “sink or swim,” the firm utilizes a unique work rotation system that lends itself to smaller, cooperative teams, close mentoring, substantial responsibility, and quick learning for associates.
M&A giant and leader of the New York legal market, Wachtell Lipton is one of the most elite law firms in the industry. Known for its high-profile matters and above-market compensation, Wachtell Lipton is home to a passionate group of lawyers who embrace hard work and professionalism. The firm is small by elite, BigLaw standards, which fosters a collegial atmosphere, and has spurned domestic or international expansion by maintaining a sole office in NYC.
From M&A to tax, Skadden is a legal powerhouse and mainstay among the most prestigious firms in Vault’s Top 100 ranking. Skadden lawyers are a social bunch who value teamwork and mentorship, while also diving headfirst into complex matters. From New York to Shanghai, the Skadden name is worldwide, with approximately 1,700 attorneys across eight U.S. offices and 13 international offices. Exit opportunities are endless for Skadden attorneys, due to the firm’s strong alumni network and prestigious name. The firm’s commitment to pro bono is unparalleled, with over two million hours dedicated to pro bono over the past 10 years.
One of the oldest New York-based firms, boasting premier offices in Paris, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, and São Paulo, Davis Polk is renowned for its Securities/Capital Markets, Banking & Financial Services, and Securities and IP litigation practices. The firm prides itself on a collegial environment where associates are given the resources and support to learn and excel. Central staffing and lockstep compensation encourage associates to focus on client service and career development above numerical targets.
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, with over 3,000 lawyers in 15 countries, and recruits the best of the best. This globalization allows Latham to service clients with the finest legal resources, regardless of location. Those seeking autonomy to shape their practice plus extensive training and support will be pleased with their opportunities at this legal giant.
One of the most prestigious law firms, Sullivan & Cromwell subscribes to a generalist approach, allowing lawyers to work across industries and subgroups. Sullivan & Cromwell boasts an army of over 800 attorneys across eight countries. The firm prides itself on its mentoring and career advising, as well as its commitment to being a unified global practice by only staffing its offices with lawyers who have built their careers at S&C.
A legal giant—both in size and reputation—Kirkland is the perfect firm for driven individuals 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.
One of the most elite corporate law firms, Simpson Thacher is a dream firm for anyone pursuing a career in transactional law. The firm boasts a supportive environment that highly values training—including through its robust training program STB Ready—and mentoring, which is fostered from those at the top.
Since its founding in 1875, Paul, Weiss has grown to nine offices—four domestic and five international—with nearly 1,000 attorneys. The firm attracts associates from a broad range of backgrounds who want to engage in sophisticated, complex legal matters. Paul, Weiss attorneys excel in the areas of complex litigation, public M&A, private equity, white collar and regulatory defense, restructuring, and capital markets. Associates appreciate not only the opportunity to learn from the best, but the firm’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and pro bono initiatives.
A litigation powerhouse, appellate all-star, and corporate law force, Gibson Dunn is a V10 firm with impressive practice and client lists across its 20 worldwide offices. Gibson attracts go-getters who will succeed in the firm’s free-market system and mesh with the professional, amiable culture. Attorneys who want to engage in pro bono work, with hours satisfying billable requirements, will find robust, dynamic opportunities with Gibson Dunn. The firm’s flex-time program, with prorated hours and compensation, is attractive to many.
Leading the charge in compensation, Milbank is among the most elite law firms for corporate law. The firm prioritizes mentoring and training, including through its highly regarded Milbank@Harvard program. Hardworking-yet-easygoing candidates will fit well with the firm’s friendly culture.
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.
A leader in bankruptcy and restructuring, Weil is an all-around legal superstar with a name that will shine on any resume. The firm is a good fit for team players who enjoy socializing and aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hard.
With 16 offices in financial centers across four continents and lawyers from more than 50 countries, Cleary is established worldwide as a law firm with a global reach. Known especially for its cross-border work, including representation of national governments, Cleary is among the most prestigious firms around. Good global citizenship takes on a distinct meaning in light of its many pro bono efforts. Intellectual curiosity and an amiable personality will go far in fitting in with the firm’s unique “Cleary Culture.”
The opposite of a stuffy BigLaw firm, Quinn Emanuel is a unique combination of casual and ambitious. Lawyers who work at this top litigation shop are independent and motivated, with the autonomy to direct their workloads and the drive to tackle intense hours for complex matters—all while wearing jeans and flip flops (if they so choose). Quinn Emanuel attorneys are treated to a fully remote, work-from-anywhere policy, and have significant opportunities to work in any of their international offices.
Known for its white collar, antitrust, and corporate work—among other things—Covington is a mainstay in the top 20 of the Vault Law 100. The firm attracts intellectuals who lean progressive and thrive on collaboration, hard work, and giving back via pro bono matters.
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.
One of the New York elites, Debevoise is a leader in the private equity and M&A spaces and is also a go-to firm for white collar matters. The firm has a reputation of being intellectual and respectful and provides ample support to its associates—from extensive mentoring to career coaching. Associates wanting extensive pro bono opportunities will find Debevoise a great place to land, as helping underserved communities has been an area of focus since the firm’s founding in 1931.
The go-to firm for startups and early-stage companies, Cooley is ideal for those seeking cutting-edge work with innovative clients. The firm is also known for its work with life science and technology companies. Cooley has a highly social culture in 17 worldwide offices that will no doubt appeal to affable personalities, and boasts a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.
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. Ropes & Gray is committed to honoring its reputation as a firm that promotes friendship and camaraderie amongst all employees.
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.
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. There’s no shortage of challenging legal matters to tackle, but the attorneys at Paul Hastings step up to the plate to produce excellence, while maintaining a relaxed culture and a good work-life balance.
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. The firm has a deeply-rooted commitment to pro bono and opportunities to dive headfirst into meaningful projects are around every corner. WilmerHale is a good fit for those looking for a hardworking but easy going environment.
Exemplary work is standard at MoFo, but as its nickname suggests, the firm—and its lawyers—don’t take themselves too seriously. MoFo, including 17 global offices and more than 1,000 attorneys, 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. Diversity and related initiatives are key at MoFo as well, as DEI activities can count toward work hours.
With a Midwestern culture of collegiality and teamwork, Jones Day is among the best of the best in the legal industry. Home to more than 2,500 attorneys in dozens of worldwide offices, clients can call upon vast resources and exceptional legal talent across jurisdictions and practice areas. The firm boasts a long list of stand out practices—from labor and employment to private equity to appellate litigation—and is a leader in the pro bono space.
A top law firm for quality of life year after year and a mainstay among the V30 firms—and the oldest firm in Los Angeles—O’Melveny is a highly sought after firm with hundreds of lawyers across 18 offices and seven countries. The firm prioritizes associate development and is a leader in diversity, pro bono, and attorney wellness. Its prominence in California has fostered exceptional opportunities in the area of entertainment law.
With more than 1,800 lawyers across 14 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.
Truly a megafirm, Hogan Lovells is home to close to 3,000 lawyers working across more than 50 offices. The firm is particularly well known for its privacy work as well as its high-profile pro bono matters. Lawyers who are down to earth and have a strong desire to give back through pro bono will fit well.
Tops for labor and employment and the go-to firm for media, entertainment, and sports, Proskauer Rose is an all around 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.
900 lawyers strong with a long list of lauded practice areas, there isn’t much at which Akin Gump doesn’t excel. Transparent? Check. Making strides in diversity? You bet. Walking the wellness walk? Absolutely. Social types who are down to earth will fit well at the firm. Akin Gump is a leader in lending a helping hand, with an attorney average of more than 100 hours devoted to pro bono clients per year and over 70% pro bono participation.
A leader in venture capital work and top ranked for intellectual property, Wilson Sonsini is a go-to firm for tech industry clients. Lawyers at the firm have an entrepreneurial mindset and strike the right balance between hard work and affability. With its history deeply rooted in the evolution of Silicon Valley, Wilson Sonsini values innovation and improvement and is the leading provider of legal services to technology and life sciences clients.
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. Providing legal services to some of the world’s most innovative companies, Perkins Coie attorneys take pride in performing substantive, meaningful work. While its history is rooted in aerospace and transportation, Perkins Coie has stretched its services far and wide across its domestic and international offices.
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. With offices in over 25 markets across the United States, Europe, and Asia, Orrick is a legal powerhouse with a dedication to pro bono, diversity, and competitive compensation.
A top firm for labor and employment work, Morgan Lewis has an expansive worldwide reach more than 30 offices. The firm attracts those who want to give back via pro bono work—20 hours are required for bonus eligibility—and who are seeking a non-hierarchical culture with ample transparency. Boasting an army of over 2,200 lawyers and legal professionals nationwide and worldwide, Morgan Lewis provides a wealth of opportunities to work on diverse and high-stakes matters among the firm’s core practice areas.
One of DC’s finest, and a global megafirm, Arnold & Porter is home to around 1,000 lawyers practicing across dozens of areas—with antitrust being one of the most notable. The firm focuses heavily on mentoring, with mentoring budgets, shadowing opportunities, and multiple formal mentors for junior associates. Pro bono is a big deal at Arnold & Porter, too, as the firm allows up to 200 hours to count toward the annual billable goal and has won numerous awards for its efforts.
Get your passport ready—DLA Piper has more than 90 offices around the world and is home to more than 4,000 lawyers. These lawyers work across 13 major practices, and the firm is lauded for its Data Protection, Privacy, and Security. Collaboration and professionalism are key to this firm’s collegial culture. Associates enjoy strong relationships with partners and benefit from an extensive team dedicated to pro bono work.
As one of the world’s largest law firms, with 69 international offices and over 6,000 lawyers, Baker McKenzie is known for its cross-border work. The firm often recruits candidates with global experience—or at least a genuine interest in international matters. The firm’s social environment makes it a good fit for those who value teamwork and camaraderie.
As an elite firm with 13 global offices and approximately 1,000 attorneys, 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 and the absence of a billable hour requirement are clear frontrunners as far as perks go.
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. After almost 100 years in Atlanta alone, K&S is now widely regarded as a global firm with 23 offices worldwide and more than 1,200 attorneys.
Winston’s Midwestern roots—though it’s grown to ten domestic and six international offices—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. Those hoping to find a strong pro bono commitment in a law firm will be pleased with Winston, as the firm ranks high in number of dedicated attorneys and attorney hours.
It doesn’t get better for litigators than Susman Godfrey, an elite litigation boutique with four domestic offices and only 140 attorneys. Junior associates are given immediate responsibility and are treated like future partners. Susman is known as well for other innovations, including contingency fee arrangements in representing both plaintiffs and defendants. And despite long hours and intense work, the firm is very social, and firm-hosted retreats are a notable favorite.
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—especially given that the firm is committed to maintaining a low partner-to-associate ratio, and that there are only 200 attorneys across three U.S. offices—new associates tackle exciting work from day one. Munger Tolles associates can expect meaningful pro bono opportunities, for which the firm has been recognized.
As a global force since its merger in 1987, 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. One might assume that it would be easy to get lost in such a massive enterprise, but employee relations and firm transparency are exceptional.
Among the largest law firms in the world, Mayer Brown does it all. Among its stand-out practice is appellate litigation—through which the firm has argued more than 250 cases before SCOTUS. The firm has a professional atmosphere where lawyers take control of their workload via the free-market system. Pro bono work is a hallmark of Mayer Brown, as it was the first major law firm to develop and implement a pro bono strategic plan.
Fried Frank associates work on complex legal matters in a top-to-bottom friendly and social environment across five global offices and over 650 attorneys. The firm prioritizes its people and communities, with associate perks like generous wellness offerings—including fitness stipends and an associates-only lounge in the New York office—and a strong dedication to pro bono work.
Linklaters is a Magic Circle firm with great opportunities for international work—and international travel, given its 31 worldwide offices. The firm receives high praises for requiring pro bono work as part of the formula. Compensation and partner-associate relations are other highlights for Linklaters associates.
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 teaching, diversity and innovation. It is recognized as well as one of the best law firms for pro bono work, with many accolades and many hours contributed every year.
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.
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
A top global 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.
At K&L Gates, attorneys tackle sophisticated work for high-caliber clients in a supportive environment. A free market assignment system allows associates to exercise control over their workload, and more-senior attorneys act as willing mentors.
Boies Schiller Flexner is the type of firm where associates toss aside the life vest and dive right in—and lawyers at this litigation powerhouse wouldn’t have it any other way. Litigators looking to roll up their sleeves and learn on the job will feel right at home here.
As the oldest law firm on Wall Street, Cadwalader has long been a place for talented associates to launch their careers. The firm offers early hands-on experience, access to elite clients, and endless career paths within and beyond the firm.
As the oldest BigLaw firm in Texas, Baker Botts gives attorneys exposure to a variety of high-caliber legal work—the icing on the cake is that it all happens in a collegial environment that fosters genuine friendships and organic mentorship.
Pillsbury is comprised of genuinely caring people, and associates can take on interesting work from day one. “Super bonuses” are an extra perk for those who go beyond. The BOSS Lab is just one of the firm’s impressive commitments to diversity.
As a global giant, Dentons provides a plethora of opportunities for associates to grow in their legal careers. Strong mentorship complements early responsibility, and many associates envision long-term careers at the firm.
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. With its largest office in Texas, V&E’s southern hospitality shines through at the firm and associates don’t shy away from an opportunity to socialize, both inside and outside the office. Through its market-leading approach, V&E has been tackling some of the most complex legal disputes for over 100 years.
At Greenberg Traurig, attorneys receive cutting-edge work with colleagues they enjoy spending time with. Pro bono is a big emphasis here—the firm gets high marks for its dedication to supporting attorneys in a variety of endeavors. The firm doesn’t fall short on attorneys that have an entrepreneurial mindset and a drive to take responsibility on sophisticated matters with the support of razor sharp mentors. Greenberg Traurig looks outside the traditional legal model to provide enhanced services to clients based on innovation.
Associates at Holland & Knight enjoy their work and appreciate their colleagues. The firm is a true pro bono leader, especially when it comes to its work supporting veterans. For those hoping to make partner, the firm provides a realistic pathway. The firm crosses state and national borders, with nearly 1,700 attorneys spread amongst 31 locations. Holland & Knight has a laid-back culture but takes service to the community seriously.
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. Freshfields’ roots may date back to the 1700s, but the firm’s recent momentum in the U.S. awards an exciting career outlook for its associates. The attorneys at Freshfields have a global perspective which allows the firm to excel at handling complex, cross-border work.
Alston & Bird embodies Southern hospitality with its kind, friendly culture. Mentorship is strong across the board and pro bono is a source of pride for associates, encouraged by firm leadership and supported through high billable credit.
Reed Smith is the perfect fit for associates who want to take on challenging legal work in a relaxed, welcoming environment. Partners here are active mentors, and on-the-job training is supplemented with courses through Reed Smith University. The social sphere surpasses borders at Reed Smith where associates can work alongside attorneys in any one of its 13 international offices or 17 domestic offices. Reed Smith doesn’t shy away from taking on the responsibility of advising some of the largest companies in the world.
Norton Rose Fulbright hires attorneys who mesh with its kind, social culture. New leadership has made some recent, well-received changes, including expanded diversity and wellness initiatives, a new training platform, and heightened transparency. With offices in over 50 cities worldwide, Norton Rose Fulbright is a global firm with a diversity of work and a noteworthy presence in the renewable energy sphere.
If you are a self-starter, Cahill just might be the place for you. Associates have no billable-hours requirement, which leaves room for pro bono and other non-billable work. Above-market bonuses are certainly a perk that associates appreciate. The firm encourages associates to continue their development with the aid of Cahill Academy, the firm’s training program that covers a variety of topics relevant to everyday practice. With an open door policy, the attorneys at Cahill are a social bunch.
It’s no surprise that Jenner & Block has such a friendly, down-to-earth culture—the firm is known for its strong commitment to pro bono and public service. Top-notch attorneys come here not just because they want to do good work—they want to do good. Associate development is a priority at the firm with mentorship opportunities abound. Boasting a strong appellate practice, Jenner & Block is a place for driven attorneys to tackle complex legal work.
Fenwick & West has established itself, since its inception in 1972 in Silicon Valley, as a go-to firm for technology and life sciences companies. Clients like Apple, Meta, Amazon, and eBay have called on the firm for its corporate, M&A, intellectual property, and IPO expertise. Attorneys gravitate towards Fenwick not only for its sophisticated work, but for its recognition of the importance of work-life balance. The firm offers access to vacation condos in some exotic locations.
BakerHostetler’s culture reflects its Midwest roots—professional, yet warm and welcoming. Associates are also treated to strong mentorship and transparent leadership. The cutting-edge “IncuBaker” team is one sign of the firm’s commitment to innovation, especially in helping clients navigate the intersection of digital business, emerging technologies, and the law.
Laid back, collegial, and collaborative are words used to describe the culture at Crowell & Moring. The firm actively helps associates shape their careers, either within or beyond the firm. If pro bono is important to you, you’ll be supported here. It was the first D.C.-based law firm to name a full-time public service partner, and has won numerous awards for its efforts.
Sheppard Mullin—new to the $1 billion a year revenue club—has continued to grow since its founding almost 100 years ago in Los Angeles. With 15 offices worldwide and 1,000 attorneys, it has expanded from primary representation of retailers and banks to stellar legal services in commercial law, litigation, aerospace and defense, land use and real estate, entertainment law, IP law, and government contracts. Associates wanting pro bono experience will be happy with Sheppard Mullin’s dedicated pro bono partner and project coordinator.
Founded in Baltimore in 1900, Venable has expanded geographically to 10 domestic offices and professionally to 850 attorneys. The firm provides a full range of legal services, including regulatory, legislative, and government affairs through its Beltway and Baltimore offices. Many notable past and current elected officials have worked at Venable. Attorneys enjoy the work-life balance promoted by the firm culture and office social life.
Nixon Peabody is a relative newcomer in the legal market, as it was founded only in 1999 as a merger of two long-standing East Coast firms. Since then it has merged with or subsumed several other firms, so that now around 700 attorneys work in 16 offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Attorneys do noteworthy work in commercial litigation, franchise law, health care law, and labor and employment law.
Talk about history—Foley & Lardner was founded in Wisconsin while it was still a territory and not yet a state. From humble beginnings in Milwaukee in 1842 to substantial growth in the last 50 years, Foley has become a 25-office, 1,100-attorney force in the legal world. It’s known for work in the areas of intellectual property, corporate law, and litigation—especially as they relate to the energy, health care and life sciences, innovative technology, and manufacturing sectors.
Irell & Manella has been around since 1941 and has resisted any temptation to engage in outrageous expansion efforts, so that it has maintained a small to midsize firm feel. The firm has only three offices—two in Southern California and one in Washington, DC—and only 70 attorneys, and does exemplary work in the areas of intellectual property litigation and general business litigation.
What began as two small law firms in Virginia in the 1800s has blossomed into what we now know as McGuireWoods. A series of mergers and takeovers in the latter portion of the 20th century and into the 21st century have led to 21 global offices and more than 1,000 attorneys. The firm has won awards recently in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance law, general litigation, and client services.
Founded in 1995 in Silicon Valley, Gunderson Dettmer has grown to 10 offices and more than 425 attorneys as the leading international law firm focusing solely on the innovation economy. They are world leaders in providing legal services to venture-backed and public technology and life sciences companies, as well as venture capital investors. Sophisticated work, amazing tutelage from partners, and office culture are highlights for associates.
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. Healthcare and life sciences practices are the firm’s bread and butter, which offers its associates ample opportunities to work on a variety of fascinating and cutting-edge work.
Squire Patton Boggs is a global force, with more than 1,500 lawyers worldwide. The firm takes pride in its efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, and it serves clients across the world with a “business has no borders” mindset.
DC-based Steptoe & Johnson is drawn to candidates with clerkship or government experience, and the right personality is a must. The firm is dedicated to associate development, with early opportunities for challenges and genuinely invested partners. The associates at Steptoe & Johnson perform cutting-edge work on key legal issues while maintaining a good work-life balance and a reputation for keeping kindness at the forefront.
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. Fish & Richardson hires candidates with the expectation they will climb the ranks, leaving a clear path to partnership for anyone willing to put in the work.
Don’t confuse Katten’s casual, friendly culture for a lack of challenging, interesting work—there is plenty of it to provide associates with early hands-on experience. Among other perks, associates value the firm’s strong support of pro bono work.
Self-starters will thrive at Arent Fox, with challenging work and strong mentorship there for the taking. Associates are proud of the firm’s diversity and pro bono initiatives, such as the recently established Center for Racial Equality.
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. The firm affords its attorneys independence and flexibility, creating a top notch work-life balance and respectful atmosphere. Associates looking for a firm to grow with long term should look no further than Fox Rothschild.
Davis Wright Tremaine is a Pacific Northwest powerhouse known for its prowess in media and entertainment law. The firm boasts early career development, demonstrated by the fact that about half of the firm’s practice chairs are in their 30s and 40s. The firm is collaborative in nature, utilizing mentorship to create multidisciplinary, industry-focused teams. Davis Wright Tremaine operates bicoastal to tackle some of the most interesting transactional, regulatory, and litigation work.
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. Communication is key at this collaborative firm and the social culture transcends beyond the walls of the office. Those seeking to gain quality experience, project leadership, and the ability to move up the ranks should look no further than Locke Lord.
Known best for its deep experience in labor and employment, Seyfarth Shaw is a big firm that offers its lawyers tremendous opportunities to take the reins. Friendly colleagues and the opportunity to work on cutting-edge matters create a team-style atmosphere and a supportive environment for attorneys to develop in their careers. Those seeking a firm that offers a unique combination of autonomy and collaboration will fit in well here.
SRZ attracts associates who are social and hardworking, and it 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 its pro bono commitment.
Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton combined a century’s worth of legal expertise to form Troutman Pepper. The merger has allowed the firm to expand its geographic presence and strengthen its focus on the firm’s key practice areas—energy, financial services, health sciences, insurance, and private equity. Attorney development is a priority of the firm with training resources abound, both at the formal and informal level, to ensure the firm maintains its innovative and client-valued services.
Kellogg Hansen offers those with clerkship experience a place to quickly sharpen their litigation skills. Associates work on small teams, which means direct interaction with partners and the opportunity to dive into challenging work from day one.
Following a “One Firm” model where lawyers frequently work across offices and across borders, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (or BCLP) is a friendly, collegial firm where associates and partners get along famously. Lawyers take their work seriously but are also happy to socialize with colleagues both during and after work hours.
With 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.
Headquartered in Dallas, it’s no surprise the culture at Haynes 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.
With deep roots in Philly, Ballard Spahr has made its mark across the U.S. with 15 offices. The firm has a particularly robust litigation practice and has been lauded for its focus on innovation. The firm attracts friendly, outgoing types who are supportive of their colleagues and enjoy socializing.
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.
Duane Morris has evolved into a legal powerhouse since its doors opened more than a century ago. While its roots are in Philadelphia, the firm has a global reach with offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Despite the firm’s rapid expansion into new markets, Duane Morris hasn’t wavered from upholding its core values and maintaining a collaborative culture—these successes even made its way into the Harvard Business School curriculum following a case study of the firm.
With headquarters in Boston, Foley Hoag is home to more than 300 lawyers who focus on more than a dozen practice areas. Low on hierarchy and big on transparency, the firm attracts lawyers who are collaborative and respectful. Small teams present the attorneys with a plethora of opportunities to spearhead their work, whether that be tackling public international law issues or committing their time to civic engagement.
Blank Rome has its roots in Philadelphia, but its reach is nationwide and even global. Among the firm’s 16 practice groups, Blank Rome has lent its legal expertise to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and everything in between. Associates aren’t without support in tackling high-stakes matters—the firm’s Career Development Advisor program ensures attorneys advance in their professional growth at every stage of their career.
As a rare law firm not founded or based in one of the nation’s largest cities and without any international offices, Polsinelli still has risen to an impressive level with 23 offices and more than 950 attorneys. Calling Kansas City home, the firm has embraced its Midwestern roots by excelling in both client service and client relationships. Associates, too, appreciate the firm’s laidback culture and their relationships with partners.
Though Hunton Andrews Kurth did not take on its current form until 2018, after a major merger, the foundation of the firm was laid well before—in 1901, to be exact. From this single office in Richmond, Virginia, the firm has blossomed into a legal giant with 21 offices and over 900 attorneys. It is known for its strength in the energy, financial services, real estate, and retail and consumer products industries.
Faegre Drinker, though founded only in 2020, has foundations in law firms that were founded in the mid-1800s. It has grown exponentially through a series of mergers and acquisitions so that now it is an international firm in 21 locations with 1,300 attorneys. It provides a full range of legal services, including transactional, litigation, and regulatory. Associates are treated and taught well by partners, and they appreciate the firm's commitment to pro bono work.
With roots in Atlanta dating back to the 1800s and 21 global offices, including one in Anchorage, Alaska, Kilpatrick Townsend is entrenched as a worldwide force in the legal arena. Specifically, it is a leader in the areas of intellectual property and IP litigation, having represented entities like Google and Sony, and they take pride in helping companies protect their most prized assets. Associates are treated well and enjoy complex but interesting work.