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 Best Law Firms for Associate/Partner Relations

1
SCORE
9.543

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
2
2
SCORE
9.452

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
6
3
SCORE
9.381

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
3
4
SCORE
9.254

Schiff Hardin LLP

Schiff Hardin is a mid-size firm with a national practice. Its 300+ lawyers practice in the firm's headquarters in Chicago and in seven other offices...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
15
5
SCORE
9.174

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
7
6
SCORE
9.135

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is a full-service business law firm representing a broad spectrum of domestic and international clients.  The...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
7
SCORE
9.122

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, founded in New York City over 160 years ago, has finance in its DNA. The firm boasts one of the nation's best and most...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
23
8
SCORE
9.109

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
1
9
SCORE
9.107

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

2013 Rank
21
10
SCORE
9.056

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
11
11
SCORE
9.048

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick is focused on serving three sectors: tech, energy & infrastructure and finance. The firm's practices are evenly split between transactional...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
12
SCORE
9.045

Foley Hoag LLP

Hailing from the land of red socks and chowder, Foley Hoag has stayed close to its Boston roots. With only three locations--in Massachusetts, DC and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
8
13
SCORE
9.044

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
14
SCORE
9.040

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
NR
15
SCORE
9.038

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

2013 Rank
13
16
SCORE
9.029

Troutman Sanders LLP

Troutman Sanders was founded at the tail end of the 1800s in Atlanta. But the firm has grown beyond its Georgia peach roots-over 600 Troutman attorneys...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
17
SCORE
9.014

Jenner & Block LLP

Windy City Roots Embarking on its second century of service, the firm now known as Jenner & Block was founded in 1914 as Newman, Poppenhusen &...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
18
SCORE
9.011

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
NR
19
SCORE
9.000

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

Editor's note:  In January 2015 Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Locke Lord  merged under the Locke Lord name.  The...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
9.000

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

2013 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
9.000

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
10
20
SCORE
8.994

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
12
21
SCORE
8.980

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
16
22
SCORE
8.944

Hunton & Williams LLP

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

TRENDING

2013 Rank
22
23
SCORE
8.923

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Born of a January 2011 merger between the Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton and Bay Area firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew, Kilpatrick Townsend &...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
24
SCORE
8.919

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
17
25
SCORE
8.914

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

2013 Rank
9