Top Ranked

Best Law Firms to Work For

Prestige isn't everything. These are the firms associates find the most amenable to a satisfying work experience.

  • Survey Methodology

    Which law firms are the best to work for? For some, this is a far more important consideration than prestige. To determine our Best 25 Firms to Work For, we used a formula that weighed the most relevant categories for an overall quality of life ranking. Each firm's overall score was calculated using the following formula:

    * 25 percent satisfaction * 10 percent hours * 10 percent compensation * 5 percent associate/partner relations * 5 transparency * 5 percent formal training * 5 percent informal training and mentoring *5 percent pro bono * 5 percent diversity (overall) * 10 percent business outlook * 5 percent career outlook * 10 percent substantive work

    Like our Vault Law 100 rankings, our quality of life rankings are meant to reflect the subjective opinions of associates. These rankings are based on perceptions of insiders--some of whom may be biased in favor (or against) their firms.

    Note: Vault's Best Law Firms to Work For methodology changed for its 2014 rankings. Previous rankings were based on a slightly different methodology.

  • Ranking History

2014 Best Law Firms for Business Outlook

1
SCORE
9.902

Williams & Connolly LLP

Relatively tiny Williams & Connolly has resisted globalization and continues to hold its own against firms ten times its size by following a basic...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
1
2
SCORE
9.597

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

With powerhouse practices ranging from M&A to appellate law, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher does its share of high-stakes work. Founded in Los Angeles...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
2
3
SCORE
9.542

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Each year, a significant chunk of the world's dealmaking-major mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and shareholder litigation, big name restructurings...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
4
SCORE
9.488

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

With a reputation for capital markets prowess and First Amendment excellence, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is the picture of an effective-and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
20
5
SCORE
9.455

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

For decades, Paul, Weiss has valiantly defended the coffers and reputations of some of the world's largest financial institutions and companies. Though...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
5
6
SCORE
9.444

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

One of SoCal's elites, Munger, Tolles & Olson has resisted the temptation to expand beyond the Golden State. The firm is similarly consistent in its...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
4
7
SCORE
9.381

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Chicagoans are (famously and resolutely) loyal to their own, so within its hometown, Kirkland & Ellis ranks tops for prestige-but the firm's...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
6
8
SCORE
9.370

Irell & Manella LLP

A Southern California power for the past half-century, Irell & Manella matches or exceeds its multinational peers in salary, prestige and high-stakes...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
9
SCORE
9.218

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

With offices around the globe and a web site in over 10 languages, one cannot deny Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's international scope. But don't...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
9
10
SCORE
9.201

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has been cultivating the persona of an eccentric genius- shocking the often-staid (OK, uptight) legal world with...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
3
11
SCORE
9.177

Jones Day

A heavy-hitter with a hand in most major areas of law and an internationally-recognized prowess in litigation, Jones Day uses its size and reach-offices...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
13
12
SCORE
9.170

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

S&C has followed-if not created-the blueprint for legal success: it has grown internationally and in response to the increasing crossborder M&A,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
15
13
SCORE
9.128

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, founded in New York City over 160 years ago, has finance in its DNA. The firm boasts one of the nation's best and most...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
14
SCORE
9.121

Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP

Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is a relative newcomer to the elite firm ranks but already boasts nearly 300 lawyers in 12 far-flung offices across the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
7
15
SCORE
9.117

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

Giant among Mortals Kind of like Oprah or Prince, Skadden is a giant among mortals. Known by its one name, it sits atop its world, continuously...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
16
SCORE
9.113

Cooley LLP

The firm that is now known as Cooley LLP was founded in 1920 in San Francisco by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley. The practice they started went on to...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
23
17
SCORE
9.068

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

For 250 years, Freshfields has remained a constant at the top of the U.K. legal market. Known as one of the "Magic Circle" firms, Freshfields has...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
25
18
SCORE
9.061

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has been known as one of the nation's pre-eminent law firms for nearly 200 years. With industry-leading practices on both...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
9.039

Akerman LLP

Akerman LLP is a nation  full-service firm recognized by Chambers and The Legal 500 with specialities in middle-market M&A and its Latin...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
20
SCORE
9.000

Fenwick & West LLP

In 1972, four attorneys moved from New York to Palo Alto to found a firm based on their vision that the Silicon Valley would become the future tech Mecca...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
8
21
SCORE
8.960

Adams and Reese LLP

Established in 1951, esteemed Southern law firm Adams and Reese follows its "Out in Front" motto. With specialties in litigation, corporate and special...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
22
SCORE
8.941

Paul Hastings LLP

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...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
23
SCORE
8.897

Ropes & Gray LLP

Founded in 1865, Ropes & Gray has expanded in every measurable way in the 21st century, acquiring smaller boutique firms in the States while claiming...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
24
SCORE
8.891

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

With around 200 attorneys working out of its single outpost in Manhattan, Patterson Belknap may seem like a modest operation relative to New York's...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
24
25
SCORE
8.860

Morrison & Foerster LLP

In 1973 those cats in San Fran approved "MoFo" as Morrison & Foerster's official nickname, accentuating the firm's unconventional modus operandi....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
16