Top Ranked

Vault Law 100

The 2017 Vault Law 100 is here! More than 18,000 law firm associates rated the prestige of law firms across the country.

  • Survey Methodology

    How does Vault come up with its list of the Top 100 firms in the country? The first step is to compile a list of the most renowned law firms in the land by reviewing the feedback we receive from previous surveys, consulting our previous lists, poring over legal newspapers, talking to lawyers in the field and checking out other published rankings. We then asked these top firms to distribute a password-protected online survey to their associates. This year, nearly 17,000 attorneys returned anonymous surveys to Vault. Associates from all over the country and the world responded. We heard from lawyers in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami, Cleveland, Seattle, Orlando, Phoenix and Atlanta, plus many other domestic as well as international locations. The online survey asked attorneys to score each of the law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how prestigious it is to work for the firm. Associates were asked to ignore any firm with which they were unfamiliar and were not allowed to rank their own firm.

    We collected all the surveys and averaged the score for each firm. The firms were then ranked in order, starting with the highest average prestige score as No. 1 on down to determine the Vault Top 100. Remember that in the Top 100, Vault is not assessing firms by profit, size, lifestyle, number of deals or quality of service; we are ranking the most prestigious law firms based on the perceptions of currently practicing lawyers at peer firms.

    Many thanks to the nearly 17,000 survey respondents for your insights!

  • Ranking History

2014 Vault Law 100

1
SCORE
9.083

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
1
2
SCORE
8.996

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
2
3
SCORE
8.601

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
4
4
SCORE
8.595

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
3
5
SCORE
8.208

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
5
6
SCORE
7.968

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

A powerhouse in restructuring, M&A, private equity, and litigation, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has long been one of the world's leading law firms....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
6
7
SCORE
7.927

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
7
8
SCORE
7.817

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
8
9
SCORE
7.714

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
9
10
SCORE
7.690

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
10
11
SCORE
7.576

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
11
12
SCORE
7.559

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
12
13
SCORE
7.419

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
13
14
SCORE
7.393

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
14
15
SCORE
7.382

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
20
16
SCORE
7.308

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
16
17
SCORE
7.304

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
18
SCORE
7.251

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
15
19
SCORE
7.111

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
19
20
SCORE
7.105

White & Case LLP

Founded 115 years ago, White & Case has grown from its New York beginnings to become a truly global law firm with a longstanding presence in the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
17
21
SCORE
6.936

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
21
22
SCORE
6.812

Arnold & Porter LLP

Arnold & Porter has cultivated a reputation for excellence in a variety of practice areas. In addition to a preeminent antitrust team, the firm...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
22
23
SCORE
6.679

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
25
24
SCORE
6.676

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
24
25
SCORE
6.620

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
24
26
SCORE
6.607

Clifford Chance US LLP

In many ways, the formation of Clifford Chance presaged the future of modern law practice, especially as it is carried out in its native city of London....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
26
27
SCORE
6.587

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling is one of the world's premier law firms, serving the domestic and cross-border needs of an impressive roster of clients. With...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
23
28
SCORE
6.472

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
29
29
SCORE
6.354

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

2013 Rank
27
30
SCORE
6.300

Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown is a leading international law firm with offices in key business centers across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and employs more than 1,500...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
30
31
SCORE
6.271

Linklaters LLP (US)

Consistently ranked as a top money-maker, both in terms of firm profits and PPP, Magic Circle firm Linklaters has achieved legal industry royalty by...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
28
32
SCORE
6.226

Baker & McKenzie

Baker & McKenzie takes "global" to a whole new level, with its plethora of global offices spanning every continent. The firm's geographic and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
34
33
SCORE
6.182

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
35
34
SCORE
6.178

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
38
35
SCORE
6.134

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established over 200 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Known especially for its capital...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
31
36
SCORE
6.115

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is one of the nation's leading firms for corporate finance and restructuring,project finance and litigation, and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
32
37
SCORE
6.109

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

2013 Rank
36
38
SCORE
6.104

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

2013 Rank
37
39
SCORE
6.079

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

2013 Rank
33
40
SCORE
6.055

Hogan Lovells LLP

Formed on May 1, 2010 by the merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells, Hogan Lovells is a global megafirm with more than 40 offices in the United...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
41
41
SCORE
6.047

DLA Piper

With approximately 4,000 lawyers in 90+ offices around the globe, DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms-both by headcount and by revenue-in the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
39
42
SCORE
6.027

Baker Botts LLP

One of Texas's elite firms, Bakers Botts has deep roots in the Lone Star State-and a long history of counseling the oil industry and Republican...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
43
43
SCORE
5.998

Goodwin

Founded in Boston in 1912, Goodwin is known for its IP litigation, financial services, private equity, real estate capital markets, technology and life...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
40
44
SCORE
5.927

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
42
45
SCORE
5.920

K&L Gates LLP

What a difference a couple of years make: the firm now branded K&L Gates has undergone a series of identity-shifting mergers in modern times. On the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
52
46
SCORE
5.874

King & Spalding

Over its 130-year history, King & Spalding has branched far from its Southern roots to open offices across the United States, Europe, the Middle...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
48
47
SCORE
5.854

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
44
48
SCORE
5.813

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has a long legacy in the United States that spans more than nine decades of practice in dispute resolution and litigation,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
49
48
SCORE
5.813

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
46
49
SCORE
5.788

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie has all the history you could ask for and then some. The firm's clients have ranged from inventors to industrial titans to elite financial...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
45
50
SCORE
5.781

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
51
51
SCORE
5.743

Bingham McCutchen LLP

TRENDING

2013 Rank
56
52
SCORE
5.725

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
54
53
SCORE
5.721

Dechert LLP

Since its founding in 1875, Dechert has become international global legal force to be reckoned with. In the United States, the firm is particularly...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
50
54
SCORE
5.714

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
55
54
SCORE
5.714

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati built its reputation advising some of the major tech and life sciences industries as well as the banks and venture...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
47
55
SCORE
5.699

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
61
56
SCORE
5.665

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

A Chicago institution since the 1930s, McDermott Will & Emery has, in recent decades, broadened its gaze from the Windy City to new markets in the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
53
57
SCORE
5.652

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
57
58
SCORE
5.645

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
60
59
SCORE
5.560

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP counts among its clients some of the biggest names in information technology, energy, entertainment, telecommunications, real...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
58
60
SCORE
5.428

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
59
61
SCORE
5.357

Holland & Knight LLP

A veritable global conglomerate, Holland & Knight complements its fleet of offices in the United States with locations in the UK and Latin America,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
63
62
SCORE
5.285

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
65
63
SCORE
5.268

Baker & Hostetler LLP

A Cleveland native with a largely domestic focus, BakerHostetler has involved itself in a number of cases that shaped America over the past 99 years. The...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
68
64
SCORE
5.244

Reed Smith LLP

A Pittsburgh native long intertwined with the city's industrial kingpins, Reed Smith joined the crowd in globalizing via international mergers in the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
66
65
SCORE
5.215

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
67
66
SCORE
5.203

Nixon Peabody LLP

Nixon Peabody's 650+ lawyers collaborate together to handle complex challenges in litigation, real estate, corporate law, intellectual property and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
62
67
SCORE
5.157

Crowell & Moring LLP

Crowell & Moring was founded in 1979 by a group of attorneys defecting from Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, to create "a different kind of law firm."...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
64
68
SCORE
5.079

Foley & Lardner LLP

While Foley & Lardner handles a wide range of business matters, the majority of the firm's major clients come from the automotive, energy, health...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
69
69
SCORE
5.076

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
71
70
SCORE
4.975

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson LLP got its start representing the airline industry, as well as pipelines, railroads, and foreign companies whose assets had been...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
73
71
SCORE
4.961

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
70
72
SCORE
4.957

Bryan Cave LLP

Employing a combination of expansion, foreign alliances and domestic mergers, Bryan Cave has established itself in the 21st century as an ambitious...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
72
73
SCORE
4.925

Chadbourne & Parke LLP

With hundreds of attorneys working in dozens of practice areas across the globe, Chadbourne has made significant strides toward shedding its reputation...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
75
74
SCORE
4.869

Hunton & Williams LLP

After remaining regional through most of the 20th century, Hunton & Williams ventured beyond the mid-Atlantic in a major way as the new millennium...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
74
75
SCORE
4.779

Arent Fox LLP

Arent Fox has developed a symbiotic relationship with the nation's capital over the past 65 years. In addition to real estate and finance work, the firm...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
76
76
SCORE
4.772

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods' roots stretch back to 1834 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when Egbert R. Watson began his law practice. Today, the firm regularly serves the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
78
77
SCORE
4.673

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Frustrated with stodgy conventional methods of BigLaw management, 24 attorneys struck out on their own in 1974 to form Katten Muchin Zavis in the Windy...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
83
78
SCORE
4.623

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

2013 Rank
79
79
SCORE
4.593

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has defined itself as the go-to firm for hedge funds and their ilk. While this practice focus translates into double-digit...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
80
80
SCORE
4.591

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

From its core litigation practice, Hughes Hubbard has spun off a number of niches and industry-specific practices. Now boasting a respected Capitol...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
77
81
SCORE
4.582

Bracewell LLP

Editor's note: In January 2016 Rudy Giuliani left Bracewell & Giuliani and the firm re-branded itself as Bracewell LLP. Long known for its...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
84
82
SCORE
4.512

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
94
83
SCORE
4.496

Blank Rome LLP

Blank Rome has been a Philly staple since the 1940s, but the firm isn't exclusive to the City of Brotherly Love-its offices span the U.S. and China, from...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
86
84
SCORE
4.495

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Fourteen New York attorneys-including the late Arthur Kramer, brother of playwright Larry Kramer-teamed up to start Kramer Levin in 1968. The city was...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
82
85
SCORE
4.489

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Founded in 1945 by a trio of labor lawyers in Chicago, Seyfarth Shaw has grown to more than 800 lawyers across 14 offices in the U.S., London, Melbourne,...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
85
86
SCORE
4.442

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

2013 Rank
92
87
SCORE
4.386

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Dorsey & Whitney was founded in 1912 when William Lancaster, a prominent Minneapolis lawyer joined forces with David Simpson, a Minnesota Supreme...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
87
88
SCORE
4.370

Dickstein Shapiro LLP

Editor's note: In February 2016 Dickstein Shapiro announced that it would not longer be engaged in the practice of law. At that time, almost all of the...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
81