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 to Work For

1
SCORE
8.588

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
9
2
SCORE
8.573

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
2
3
SCORE
8.467

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
4
SCORE
8.414

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
5
SCORE
8.364

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
10
6
SCORE
8.296

Foley Hoag LLP

Hailing from the land of red socks and chowder, Foley Hoag has stayed close to its Boston roots. With only three locations--in Massachusetts, DC and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
6
7
SCORE
8.263

Squire Patton Boggs LLP

Squire Patton Boggs has a multi-disciplinary team of over 1500 lawyers in 44 offices across 21 countries. Their expansion has been through a unique mix...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
3
8
SCORE
8.243

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
13
9
SCORE
8.232

Fish & Richardson P.C.

An influential player in the development of American intellectual property law, Fish & Richardson has evolved with the inventions of its clients:...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
8
10
SCORE
8.177

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

A firm with offices across the Southeast as well as locations in Washington, DC and London, Baker Donelson is a full-service law firm that also boasts a...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
4
11
SCORE
8.172

Carlton Fields

In January 2014, the law firms of Carlton Fields, PA and Jorden Burt, LLP merged to form Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, which now boasts more than 375...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
18
12
SCORE
8.135

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham is one of the world's largest law firms, a bona fide member of the clique that includes the Magic Circle and the elite U.S. heritage firms. With...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
14
13
SCORE
8.134

Schiff Hardin LLP

Schiff Hardin is a mid-size firm with a national practice. Its 300+ lawyers practice in the firm's headquarters in Chicago and in seven other offices...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
14
SCORE
8.100

Alston & Bird LLP

As definitively "Atlanta" as Coca-Cola, TBS and Bobby Cox, Alston & Bird isn't just a Georgia peach: it has built a nationally-regarded lobbying...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
12
15
SCORE
8.073

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
15
16
SCORE
8.055

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
7
17
SCORE
8.047

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
NR
18
SCORE
8.045

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

With a full name like Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, it's no surprise that this firm is the product of big mergers between well-established practices....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
8.035

Thompson & Knight LLP

Alive and kicking since the late nineteenth century, Dallas-based Thompson & Knight has evolved from a Texas oil and gas law firm into an...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
17
20
SCORE
8.012

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
NR
21
SCORE
7.982

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Wall Street institution Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy is one of the nation's leading firms for corporate restructuring, outsourcing and project...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
22
SCORE
7.979

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

A Boston institution since 1933, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo is now a national powerhouse, claiming such blue chippers as Biogen Idec...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
23
SCORE
7.977

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Born of a January 2011 merger between the Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton and Bay Area firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew, Kilpatrick Townsend &...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
24
SCORE
7.971

Perkins Coie LLP

Perkins Coie got off to a good start: founded in 1912, the Seattle-based firm's earliest clients included one William E. Boeing Sr., founder of the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
25
SCORE
7.967

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP started as an Atlanta tax firm and has grown to include offices in London, Geneva, Washington, DC, New York, Houston,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
5