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 Most Selective Law Firms

1
SCORE
9.901

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
9.804

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
2
3
SCORE
9.792

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
3
4
SCORE
9.519

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
7
5
SCORE
9.407

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
4
6
SCORE
9.208

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
5
7
SCORE
9.182

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

2013 Rank
8
8
SCORE
9.176

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

2013 Rank
6
9
SCORE
9.085

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
11
10
SCORE
9.064

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
9
11
SCORE
9.046

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

2013 Rank
12
12
SCORE
8.864

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
16
13
SCORE
8.845

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

2013 Rank
10
14
SCORE
8.793

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
15
15
SCORE
8.767

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
15
SCORE
8.767

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

2013 Rank
14
16
SCORE
8.737

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

2013 Rank
17
17
SCORE
8.736

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

2013 Rank
13
18
SCORE
8.727

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
19
SCORE
8.688

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

2013 Rank
18
20
SCORE
8.662

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

2013 Rank
19
21
SCORE
8.655

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
22
22
SCORE
8.654

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
23
23
SCORE
8.602

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
21
24
SCORE
8.579

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
NR
25
SCORE
8.566

Jenner & Block LLP

Windy City Roots The firm now known as Jenner & Block was founded in 1914 as Newman, Poppenhusen & Stern by a trio of lawyers with big-name...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR

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