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 Most Selective Law Firms

1
SCORE
9.831

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
2
2
SCORE
9.794

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
1
3
SCORE
9.554

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

2016 Rank
3
4
SCORE
9.443

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
4
5
SCORE
9.328

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
6
SCORE
9.272

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
6
7
SCORE
9.225

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
8
SCORE
9.211

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

2016 Rank
14
9
SCORE
9.193

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

2016 Rank
15
10
SCORE
9.133

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

2016 Rank
12
11
SCORE
9.126

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
9
12
SCORE
9.071

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
13
SCORE
9.070

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
10
14
SCORE
9.008

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
17
15
SCORE
8.964

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

2016 Rank
7
16
SCORE
8.945

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
17
SCORE
8.904

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
11
18
SCORE
8.894

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

2016 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
8.867

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
16
20
SCORE
8.851

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

2016 Rank
NR
21
SCORE
8.842

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

2016 Rank
18
22
SCORE
8.811

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

2016 Rank
NR
23
SCORE
8.808

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
25
24
SCORE
8.807

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
25
SCORE
8.794

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
19