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.

  • Ranking History

2016 Best Law Firms for Associate/Partner Relations

1
SCORE
9.477

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
1
2
SCORE
9.450

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

2015 Rank
3
3
SCORE
9.240

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
2
4
SCORE
9.163

Schiff Hardin LLP

With litigation as its largest practice group, Chicago-headquartered Schiff Hardin has grown into a national law firm that counsels local, regional,...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
5
5
SCORE
9.155

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP ranks as one of New York's most powerful law firms, representing high-profile clients in transactions and disputes in...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
6
6
SCORE
9.154

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
NR
7
SCORE
9.097

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

2015 Rank
4
8
SCORE
9.057

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

2015 Rank
NR
9
SCORE
9.036

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

2015 Rank
11
10
SCORE
8.990

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

A firm with offices across the Southeast as well as locations in Washington, DC and London, Baker Donelson is a full-service law firm that also boasts a...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
22
10
SCORE
8.990

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
NR
11
SCORE
8.979

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

2015 Rank
NR
12
SCORE
8.970

Haynes and Boone, LLP

From its roots in Dallas-area corporate securities law, Haynes and Boone has expanded to a dozen offices across the U.S. and abroad. Although much of its...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
13
SCORE
8.962

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
19
14
SCORE
8.961

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Although Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian is a Silicon Valley firm at heart, it has already outgrown its status as a premier...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
15
SCORE
8.952

Carlton Fields

In January 2014, the law firms of Carlton Fields, PA and Jorden Burt, LLP merged to form Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, which now boasts more than 375...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
16
SCORE
8.861

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

2015 Rank
NR
17
SCORE
8.851

Baker Botts LLP

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

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
18
SCORE
8.843

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...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
9
19
SCORE
8.814

Quarles & Brady LLP

Milwaukee's second largest firm, Quarles & Brady has successfully combined its Midwestern roots with multi-region power through thriving health law...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
20
SCORE
8.809

Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

Kansas City-based Shook Hardy & Bacon is a top litigation practice where big names turn for representation in bet-the-company cases. The firm is also...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
25
21
SCORE
8.802

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP started as an Atlanta tax firm and has grown to include offices in London, Geneva, Washington, DC, New York, Houston,...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
12
22
SCORE
8.798

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

With offices around the globe and a web site in over 10 languages, one cannot deny Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's international scope. But don't...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
23
SCORE
8.788

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

The current composition of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP prompts one of the great existential questions of 21st-century law:...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
24
SCORE
8.782

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP is a national law firm known for its trial litigation practice, particularly in the intellectual property, complex business litigation,...

TRENDING

2015 Rank
NR
25
SCORE
8.780

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
NR