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.

  • Ranking History

2015 Most Selective Law Firms

1
SCORE
9.875

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

2014 Rank
2
2
SCORE
9.862

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

2014 Rank
1
3
SCORE
9.718

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

2014 Rank
3
4
SCORE
9.395

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

2014 Rank
4
5
SCORE
9.377

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

2014 Rank
5
6
SCORE
9.355

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

2014 Rank
6
7
SCORE
9.230

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

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

TRENDING

2014 Rank
7
8
SCORE
9.229

Covington & Burling LLP

This "brain trust" law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business-that business being antitrust, litigation, corporate, IP, and...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
8
9
SCORE
9.081

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

2014 Rank
9
10
SCORE
9.060

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

2014 Rank
10
11
SCORE
9.022

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

A BigLaw powerhouse, Sullivan & Cromwell has been ranked in the AmLaw 100 since the rankings began in the 1980s and is a regular player on The...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
11
12
SCORE
8.927

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 its...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
19
13
SCORE
8.874

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton ranks as one of New York's most powerful law firms, representing high-profile clients in transactions and disputes in...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
16
14
SCORE
8.865

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

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

TRENDING

2014 Rank
17
15
SCORE
8.855

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

2014 Rank
15
16
SCORE
8.851

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

2014 Rank
22
17
SCORE
8.845

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

2014 Rank
18
18
SCORE
8.840

WilmerHale

Since Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP and Hale and Dorr LLP merged to become WilmerHale in 2004, the firm has established itself as one of the preeminent...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
20
19
SCORE
8.820

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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

TRENDING

2014 Rank
14
20
SCORE
8.785

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

2014 Rank
12
21
SCORE
8.781

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

With offices around the globe, one cannot deny Cleary Gottlieb's international scope. But don't call it a U.S. firm with overseas offices-this is an...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
13
22
SCORE
8.687

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

2014 Rank
23
23
SCORE
8.651

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

2014 Rank
NR
24
SCORE
8.646

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is a Wall Street institution, housing elite teams in M&A, banking, capital markets and litigation. The firm is a bit...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
15
25
SCORE
8.636

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with "sports law"-clients include Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA. Although flashy, this...

TRENDING

2014 Rank
NR