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). The No. 1 firm in Vault’s General Commercial Litigation category, Quinn Emanuel’s litigation experience is wide ranging. Among the firm’s practices are antitrust, appellate, bankruptcy, corporate d...

Firm Stats


Total No. Attorneys (2021)

750 - 1K


No. of Partners Named (2021)



Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100


No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



No. of Summer Associates (2021)

84 total (80 2Ls; 1 1Ls 3 SEO Fellows)


Base Salary

All Offices

Vault Verdict

Stellar grades are a must-have to land a spot at Quinn Emanuel, and a clerkship won’t hurt either. Candidates should be prepared to discuss why they are interested in litigation and why they specifically want to litigate at Quinn. The firm has an unconventional, informal culture by BigLaw standards and is described by some associates as “hard-charging” and “free-wheeling.” Associates form close relationships with partners and gain tremendous hands-on opportunities—such as depositions, briefs, and client contact—as juniors. Joining Quinn means diving into the deep end and learning on the job. Hours can be overwhelming, though associates can shape their workloads through the free-market system and have flexibility to determine their daily schedules. Associates must reach 2,100 hours...

About the Firm

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has been cultivating the persona of an eccentric genius—shocking the often-staid (OK, uptight) legal world with its unorthodox approach while awing them with sweeping successes in the courtroom. This global litigation firm has always had its own style: Partners wear flip-flops, many cases go through an in-house mock trial system before they go to trial, and the firm eschews work from Wall Street banks because they can earn more by suing large financial institutions than by catering to them. Importantly, Quinn Emanuel tries lots of cases and walks away with a win more times than not (88 percent, to be exact). Not content with just a high rate of success, Quinn Emanuel also likes to go big, with five 9-figure jury verdicts, more than 40 nine-figure settlements, and 19 10-figure settlements. It’s no wonder...

Associate Reviews

  • “Relaxed interpersonal culture; hard-charging work culture.”
  • “Quinn is free-wheeling. It's fun. It's busy. It's high energy. For most people, I think the energy is Quinn's best and most difficult quality. The energy, ingenuity, informality, and cut-to-the-chase enthusiasm of Quinn Emanuel can feel impersonal, if you aren't connecting with your team and excited about the work that you're doing. But Quinn lets you move into opportunities that you're excited about. And once you figure out what that is (and who is doing it), there is endless work and opportunity, and things can get very busy. But during the pandemic, the firm has definitely made space to have virtual happy hours on my teams. And my associate peers and mentors frequently make time just to talk and brainstorm with me.”
  • “Good culture with minimal central organization. Monthly firm-sponsored small-group catch-ups with a distribution of associates and partners at different levels. When we were in the office, more frequent after-hours socializing was normal.”
  • “In my experience, there are relatively few firm-organized social events outside of the summer associate season. Associates frequently get together on their own accord, go to happy hours, and hang out outside of work.”

Getting Hired Here

  • “The firm is interested in grades, an interest in litigation, and people who can handle an environment with less formal training and structure. Knowing the area of litigation you want to work in is not as important.”
  • “Very strong grades [from a] good law school. The firm also pays a very high clerkship bonus, so they clearly value that as well.”
  • “Law school grades are hugely important.”
  • “They usually seem to prioritize a top law school candidate with good grades for a candidate straight out of law school. They love to hire candidates straight out of clerkship, though. However, it seems like every year they hire one or two people that didn't go to a top law school and have that special something such as a high work ethic or ability to connect with people.”

Perks & Benefits