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% satisfaction; 10% firm culture; 10% hours; 10% compensation; 10% substantive work; 5% business outlook; 5% career outlook; 5% associate/partner relations; 5% transparency; 5% formal and informal training; 5% pro bono; 5% overall diversity

    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

2017 Best Law Firms for Business Outlook

1
SCORE
9.648

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

2016 Rank
3
2
SCORE
9.567

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

2016 Rank
5
3
SCORE
9.509

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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

TRENDING

2016 Rank
13
4
SCORE
9.468

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

2016 Rank
2
5
SCORE
9.457

Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Since 1899, Choate Hall & Stewart has remained a Boston firm through and through. Although smaller in number than their national competitors, Choate...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
6
SCORE
9.450

BuckleySandler LLP

Started by former BigLaw partners jumping ship from their respective firms with clients in tow, BuckleySandler has attracted the attention of the legal...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
7
7
SCORE
9.361

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

2016 Rank
1
8
SCORE
9.345

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

2016 Rank
8
9
SCORE
9.333

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

2016 Rank
11
10
SCORE
9.325

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

2016 Rank
12
11
SCORE
9.288

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

2016 Rank
18
12
SCORE
9.283

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

2016 Rank
4
13
SCORE
9.275

Venable LLP

Call it a victory for career services: Venable, Baetjer & Howard was formed in 1900 when Richard Venable, a law professor in Baltimore, partnered...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
24
14
SCORE
9.252

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick is focused on serving three sectors: tech, energy & infrastructure, and finance. The firm's practices are evenly split between...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
15
SCORE
9.250

Seward & Kissel LLP

Founded in 1890, Seward & Kissel has grown into a major player in the financial world, serving clients ranging from investment funds to big banks....

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
16
SCORE
9.249

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

2016 Rank
6
17
SCORE
9.208

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

With approximately 450 attorneys, Fried Frank is hardly a behemoth, but the firm remains an international legal power that excels in corporate,...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
18
SCORE
9.194

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Founded in 1977, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C. is one of the premier labor and employment law firms in the U.S. and Europe. From...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
9.174

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

2016 Rank
NR
20
SCORE
9.164

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

2016 Rank
14
21
SCORE
9.162

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

With expertise in a variety of practices, including corporate, litigation, employment, IP, antitrust and finance, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
22
SCORE
9.152

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

2016 Rank
NR
23
SCORE
9.151

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

2016 Rank
NR
24
SCORE
9.088

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

2016 Rank
16
25
SCORE
9.082

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP maintains Capitol Hill connections that pay dividends. Long a force in national politics (and even longer a...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
25
SCORE
9.082

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

2016 Rank
22