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 Compensation

1
SCORE
9.778

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
2
2
SCORE
9.551

Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP

Started in 1997, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is a relative newcomer to the elite firm ranks but already boasts approximately 280 lawyers and has...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
1
3
SCORE
9.291

Irell & Manella LLP

A Southern California power for the past 75 years, Irell & Manella matches or exceeds its multinational peers in salary, prestige and high-stakes...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
4
SCORE
9.066

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
3
5
SCORE
9.054

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
4
6
SCORE
8.854

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
6
7
SCORE
8.753

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
9
8
SCORE
8.657

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
23
9
SCORE
8.585

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
5
10
SCORE
8.524

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 in...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
17
11
SCORE
8.486

Bingham McCutchen LLP

TRENDING

2013 Rank
14
12
SCORE
8.407

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
7
13
SCORE
8.397

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

For over 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
NR
14
SCORE
8.373

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy stands as not only one of the U.K.'s most prestigious law firms-a pillar of the vaunted Magic Circle-but one of the largest firms in...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
15
SCORE
8.371

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Founded in Houston in 1917, this Lone Star State institution rode the wildcatter era to build its name on (what else?!) oil and gas matters. Vinson &...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
16
SCORE
8.367

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
NR
17
SCORE
8.360

Sidley Austin LLP

The firm's roots trace back to its formation in Chicago in 1866 and the firm is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Historical clients included former...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
18
SCORE
8.346

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn has an enviable 160+ year track record. The global law firm is comprised of 18 offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
8.319

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

With an extensive history of working big-time cases spread across a diverse array of fields, O'Melveny & Myers boasts expertise in a little bit of...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
10
20
SCORE
8.282

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
11
21
SCORE
8.266

Kaye Scholer LLP

Since its founding in New York in 1917, Kaye Scholer has grown strong practices in life sciences, financial services, technology and real estate to...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
22
SCORE
8.242

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP was founded in 1920 in San Francisco by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley. The practice they started went on to become a major player in...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
20
23
SCORE
8.239

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
18
24
SCORE
8.238

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis has a strong reputation in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation, restructuring and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
8
25
SCORE
8.228

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan Lewis has branched out from its Philadelphia roots to build an international network of lawyers reaching from Boston to Beijing and San Francisco...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR