Top Ranked

Vault Law 100

Vault’s ranking of the most prestigious law firms in the country based on the assessments of lawyers at peer firms. This year more than 19,000 associates rated the reputations of firms other than their own.

  • 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, over 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, DC, 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 17,000+ survey respondents for your insights!

  • Ranking History

2016 Vault Law 100

1
SCORE
8.951

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

2015 Rank
1
2
SCORE
8.920

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

2015 Rank
2
3
SCORE
8.512

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

2015 Rank
3
4
SCORE
8.390

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

2015 Rank
4
5
SCORE
8.227

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, founded in New York City more than 165 years ago, has finance in its DNA. The firm boasts one of the nation's best and...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
5
6
SCORE
7.927

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
6
7
SCORE
7.680

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis, one the world's most elite law firms, is recognized for its private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions,...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
9
8
SCORE
7.678

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cleary Gottlieb is a preeminent global law firm, with offices on four continents and an unparalleled reputation for groundbreaking work. While long known...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
7
9
SCORE
7.658

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

2015 Rank
8
10
SCORE
7.655

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

2015 Rank
10
11
SCORE
7.627

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

2015 Rank
11
12
SCORE
7.454

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

Started in 1997, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is a relative newcomer to the elite firm ranks but already boasts nearly 300 lawyers and has its...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
13
13
SCORE
7.400

Covington & Burling LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
12
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....

TRENDING

2015 Rank
14
15
SCORE
7.346

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has been cultivating the persona of an eccentric genius-shocking the often-staid (OK, uptight) legal world...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
15
16
SCORE
7.250

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

2015 Rank
16
17
SCORE
7.223

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley is one of the largest U.S. law firms and traces its roots back to the 1866 founding of predecessor firm Williams & Thompson in Chicago....

TRENDING

2015 Rank
17
18
SCORE
7.162

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

2015 Rank
18
19
SCORE
7.123

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

2015 Rank
19
20
SCORE
6.869

White & Case LLP

Founded at the dawn of the 20th century, White & Case has grown from its New York beginnings to become a truly global law firm with a longstanding...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
20
21
SCORE
6.854

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

2015 Rank
21
22
SCORE
6.808

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

2015 Rank
23
23
SCORE
6.801

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray has expanded in every measurable way in the 21st century, acquiring smaller boutique firms in the States while claiming new turf in the...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
22
24
SCORE
6.563

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

2015 Rank
26
25
SCORE
6.514

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

In the biggest law firm merger news of 2017, Washington, DC giant Arnold & Porter combined with New York's Kaye Scholer, creating Arnold & Porter...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
24
26
SCORE
6.506

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
25
27
SCORE
6.338

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

2015 Rank
27
28
SCORE
6.259

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

One of SoCal's elites, Munger, Tolles & Olson, has only recently expanded beyond the Golden State. The firm is similarly consistent in its...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
31
29
SCORE
6.174

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Founded in Texas in 1945, Akin Gump has grown to become one of the world's largest law firms, with over 900 lawyers working across a vast array of...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
29
30
SCORE
6.170

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

2015 Rank
28
31
SCORE
6.156

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established 225 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Known especially for its capital...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
34
32
SCORE
6.140

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 practice-area...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
30
33
SCORE
6.138

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Formed in 2010 by the merger of DC's Hogan & Hartson and London's Lovells, Hogan Lovells is a global megafirm with more than 45 offices in the United...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
35
34
SCORE
6.137

Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown is an international law firm with offices across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East that employs more than 1,500 lawyers-among...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
33
35
SCORE
6.125

Goodwin Procter LLP

Founded in Boston more than a century ago, Goodwin has grown to more than 1,000 lawyers in ten offices throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The firm...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
38
36
SCORE
6.095

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with "sports law"-clients include Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
32
37
SCORE
6.027

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
36
38
SCORE
5.977

Cooley LLP

Founded by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley in 1920 in San Francisco, Cooley became a major player in California, as it prospered in the Silicon Valley...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
45
39
SCORE
5.969

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP advises many of the world's leading corporations, investment funds, and financial institutions on their...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
41
40
SCORE
5.959

Linklaters LLP

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

2015 Rank
37
41
SCORE
5.935

Allen & Overy LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
40
42
SCORE
5.901

DLA Piper

With approximately 4,200 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

2015 Rank
42
43
SCORE
5.899

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Founded more than 150 years ago in San Francisco, Orrick today is a global firm of more than 1,100 attorneys focused on serving three sectors: tech &...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
39
44
SCORE
5.875

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan Lewis has branched out from its Philadelphia roots to build an international network of lawyers in thirty offices reaching from Boston to...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
50
45
SCORE
5.854

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

2015 Rank
43
46
SCORE
5.848

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

2015 Rank
47
47
SCORE
5.828

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

2015 Rank
44
48
SCORE
5.825

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

For over 250 years, Freshfields has remained a constant at the top of the UK legal market. Known as one of the Magic Circle firms, Freshfields has...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
48
49
SCORE
5.763

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

2015 Rank
49
50
SCORE
5.731

King & Spalding LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
49
51
SCORE
5.688

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

2015 Rank
51
52
SCORE
5.665

Irell & Manella LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
46
53
SCORE
5.641

Winston & Strawn LLP

From its 19th Century Chicago roots, Winston & Strawn has grown to a global law firm of nearly 1,000 attorneys across the United States, Europe, and...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
49
54
SCORE
5.627

Jenner & Block LLP

From its Windy City roots, Jenner & Block has grown to a firm of more than 500 lawyers in offices in Chicago; London; Los Angeles; New York; and...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
53
55
SCORE
5.610

Dechert LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
52
56
SCORE
5.555

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
57
57
SCORE
5.483

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

2015 Rank
55
58
SCORE
5.466

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

2015 Rank
56
59
SCORE
5.463

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

2015 Rank
59
60
SCORE
5.439

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

2015 Rank
60
61
SCORE
5.438

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

2015 Rank
58
62
SCORE
5.292

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

2015 Rank
62
63
SCORE
5.276

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

2015 Rank
61
64
SCORE
5.201

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 century. The...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
63
65
SCORE
5.159

Crowell & Moring LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
65
66
SCORE
5.132

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

2015 Rank
64
67
SCORE
5.095

Nixon Peabody LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
66
68
SCORE
4.950

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

2015 Rank
67
69
SCORE
4.923

Kaye Scholer LLP

TRENDING

2015 Rank
68
70
SCORE
4.874

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

2015 Rank
69
71
SCORE
4.852

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
70
72
SCORE
4.721

Norton Rose Fulbright

Teaming Up to Go Global Norton Rose Fulbright is the product of some of the last decade's largest law firm combinations, but the legacy firms each had...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
87
73
SCORE
4.711

Chadbourne & Parke LLP

TRENDING

2015 Rank
72
74
SCORE
4.710

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Editor's Note: The merger of Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon occurred after Vault's survey period. Associate quotes and most of the...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
73
75
SCORE
4.705

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

2015 Rank
81
76
SCORE
4.689

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

2015 Rank
77
77
SCORE
4.670

McGuireWoods LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
75
78
SCORE
4.669

Arent Fox LLP

Arent Fox has developed a symbiotic relationship with the nation's capital over the past 75 years. In addition to real estate, patent, trademark, and...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
74
79
SCORE
4.632

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

2015 Rank
76
80
SCORE
4.627

Dentons

The megafirm known as Dentons is the product of a flurry of mergers in the last half decade, most recently with McKenna Long & Aldridge in April...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
89
81
SCORE
4.598

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
83
82
SCORE
4.574

Squire Patton Boggs

Through a mix of organic growth and strategic combinations, Squire Patton Boggs has created one of the most comprehensive legal platforms, spanning 47...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
71
83
SCORE
4.550

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 Hill...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
79
84
SCORE
4.537

Bracewell LLP

Bracewell started as a glimmer in the eyes of four Houston attorneys (three of whom bore the surname Bracewell) in 1945. J.S. Bracewell, his sons Searcy...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
78
85
SCORE
4.522

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

2015 Rank
80
86
SCORE
4.446

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Founded in 1945 by a trio of labor lawyers in Chicago, Seyfarth Shaw has grown to more than 900 lawyers across 14 offices in the U.S., London, Melbourne,...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
82
87
SCORE
4.390

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

2015 Rank
84
88
SCORE
4.350

Locke Lord LLP

Locke Lord is a full-service, international law firm of 20 offices and about 700 attorneys with offices in Texas, the Northeast, the Midwest, the...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
86
89
SCORE
4.336

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

A Boston institution since 1933, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo is now a national powerhouse, claiming such blue chippers as Biogen Idec...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
88
90
SCORE
4.313

Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pepper Hamilton was founded more than 125 years ago in the City of Brotherly Love, where it strictly remained for 80 years. In 1969, it opened its first...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
97
Close button

Get tips on interviewing, networking, resumes, and more directly to your inbox.

No Thanks