Hate Your Firm? Fortune & Vault Have Some Suggestions

by Vault Careers | March 11, 2015

  • My Vault

Fortune recently released its list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and five Vault firms made Fortune’s list:  Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC; Arnold & Porter LLP; Cooley LLP; Perkins Coie LLP; and Alston & Bird LLP. Fortune’s rankings are based on a survey of random employees in which respondents rate criteria related to the quality of their workplace culture such as pay, benefits and workplace programs.

Associates who took the Vault survey echoed the sentiments reflected in Fortune’s ratings. Four of the five law firms ranked by Fortune also earned spots on Vault’s Best Law Firms for Firm Culture and Best Law Firms to Work For rankings.

Baker Donelson, which ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s list, ranked No. 9 in Vault’s Best Law Firms for Culture ranking and No. 11 in Vault’s Best Law Firms to Work For ranking. Associates at Baker Donelson praised the firm for its “collegial atmosphere” and noted that fellow attorneys were “friends, which makes life in the workplace much easier.” Another associate was pleased that there are a “broad range of opinions and ways of thinking and living and nobody seems to be bothered by anybody else's choices.”

Alston & Bird, which ranked No. 41 on Fortune’s list, grabbed the No. 21 slot in Vault’s Best Law Firms for Culture ranking and the No. 20 slot in Vault’s Best Law Firms to Work For ranking. Attorneys at Alston & Bird are a happy group and “all actually seem to enjoy each other. “ They appreciate that socializing with other attorneys is not expected or required, but “[socializing] seems to naturally happen because Alston does such a great job of hiring people that everyone wants to be around.”

Cooley, which ranked No. 42 on Fortune’s list, landed at No. 8 in Vault’s Best Law Firms for Culture ranking and No. 7 in Vault’s Best Law Firms to Work For ranking. Associates at Cooley are grateful for their firm’s “many opportunities for the associates and partners to socialize along with staff,” but feel “no pressure to hang out if you like to do your own thing.” Cooley’s West Coast roots also permeate its offices and one associate is happy that “every day is jeans day” and another noted that “the firm has a very West Coast feel even though we are right outside of Washington, DC.”

Perkins Coie, which ranked No. 46 on Fortune’s list, took the No. 21 spot in Vault’s Best Law Firms for Culture ranking and the No. 20 spot in Vault’s Best Law Firms to Work For ranking. Associates at Perkins Coie appreciate that the firm is “very family friendly” and that “there is not an expectation that you work all day and then spend your evenings with the firm, too,” although “there is an effort in the office to socialize, stop by an office, go on a coffee run, etc.”

While, interestingly, Arnold & Porter, ranked No. 75 on Fortune’s list, did not earn a spot on either Vault’s Best Law Firms for Culture ranking or Vault’s Best Law Firms to Work For ranking, the firm’s associates did not lead Vault to believe that they are exceedingly unhappy with their workplace culture. One associate noted that “people get along and are friendly with each other.” Others were pleased that associates “are free to go their own way, socially.”

Does your firm deserve to be on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For or Vault’s Best Law Firms for Culture or Best Law Firms to Work For lists? Let us know in the comments!

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Read More:

The Best Employers in the U.S. Say Their Greatest Tool is Culture (Fortune)
100 Best Companies to Work For (Fortune)
Vault’s Best Law Firms to Work For
Vault’s Best Law Firms for Firm Culture
Which Law Firms Have the Happiest Associates?

Filed Under: Law

Tags: law firms | lawyers

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