Published: Jul 18, 2018
Vault has released its ranking of the 20 Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For and Lightfoot, Franklin & White tops the list again after, besting two-time champion Nutter, McClennen & Fish last year. Lightfoot earned the ranking through high ratings in Vault’s numerous Midsize Quality of Life categories, including ranking as the top firm in Satisfaction, Firm Culture, and Quality of Work. Nutter does earn the No. 1 spot in Vault’s new midsize Pro Bono ranking, while Susman Godfrey tops the new ranking for Selectivity. Desmarais ranks highest in Compensation for the third straight year, Bookoff McAndrews repeats as the No. 1 firm for Diversity, and Nelson Hardiman is the new top firm for Hours.
The 2018 Top 10 Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For are:
The Best Midsize Firms to Work For rankings are derived from Vault’s Law Firm Associate Survey, in which associates at midsize firms—those with approximately 150 attorneys or fewer—rated and commented on various aspects of their work life. The rankings were calculated using a formula that weighs associate ratings in eleven different areas: Overall Satisfaction (25%); Firm Culture (10%); Hours (10%); Compensation (10%); Quality of Work (10%); Informal Training, Mentoring & Sponsorship (10%); Business Outlook (5%); Career Outlook (5%); Associate/Partner Relations (5%); Leadership Transparency (5%); and Formal Training (5%).
Lightfoot associates in the Vault survey called the firm “like none other” and one said that “Lightfoot does a great job of feeling like a family.” Another Lightfoot associate raved: “This has been the best job I've ever held. I hear horror stories from my colleagues at other firms and simply cannot relate.”
Best Midsize Firms in New York
Vault is excited to unveil a new ranking of the 15 Best Midsize Law Firms in New York, and Pryor Cashman tops the inaugural list. This new ranking highlights the firms doing BigLaw quality work in the largest legal market in the country, but with a smaller legal team. Midsize firms can offer associates a better culture and earlier responsibility, while not sacrificing the quality of work and clients found at larger firms. While some of the firms ranked here are specialized practices—like the No. 2-ranked firm, litigation-focused Kobre & Kim—others are full-service firms, with attorneys who work in a broad spectrum of practice areas, like Pryor Cashman.
The Top 15 Midsize Firms in New York are:
To determine this list, Vault asked associates in New York at both large and midsize firms to vote for the top midsize firms in the city. Associates were able to vote for up to three firms but were not permitted to vote for their own firm. Vault then ranked the firms by the total percentage of votes received.
Top 150 Under 150
Today Vault also releases its fourth annual Top 150 Under 150 list of the leading small and midsized firms with 150 or fewer attorneys. To determine the Top 150 Under 150, we first developed a list of the best-known and most sought-after U.S. firms with fewer than 150 attorneys. Our editorial and research teams pored through Vault survey data, news stories, trade journals and other legal publications; spoke with lawyers in the field and reviewed other published rankings. Vault editors also assessed each firm for prestige, quality of life and professional growth opportunities, and then narrowed down the results to come up with a list of 150 law firms known for providing top-notch service and delivering big results.
New to the Top 150 Under 150 this year are:
On Monday, BigLaw associates and hopeful law students got some welcome news: Milbank announced it was raising its associate salaries, with first year associates now making $190,000. This is the second associate raise in the last two years after nearly a decade of stagnant pay; in June 2016 Cravath raised first year pay $20,000 to $180,000 a year.
For many of today’s law students, firm culture, location, and practice area remain the most important factors in deciding where to apply. Recently, students have discovered that evaluating these factors — and making the right choice for their legal career — is easier when opting to apply directly to firms for summer positions.
Every year during the week before Thanksgiving week, we take the time to recognize our public school communities by celebrating American Education Week. Now, this week isn’t just about teachers and students, it’s also about some of the unsung heroes of our education system, including administrative staff, janitors, cafeteria workers, and even our school bus drivers.