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 Hours

1
SCORE
8.265

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
18
2
SCORE
8.091

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
6
3
SCORE
8.044

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
1
4
SCORE
7.935

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
3
5
SCORE
7.919

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
6
SCORE
7.756

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
8
7
SCORE
7.750

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
NR
7
SCORE
7.750

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
8
SCORE
7.739

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
9
SCORE
7.710

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
14
10
SCORE
7.705

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

2013 Rank
2
11
SCORE
7.697

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
NR
12
SCORE
7.696

Irell & Manella LLP

A Southern California power for the past half-century, Irell & Manella matches or exceeds its multinational peers in salary, prestige and high-stakes...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
13
SCORE
7.679

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP

In a few short decades, Gordon & Rees has grown from a small insurance defense firm to a national firm of more than 500 attorneys with 32 different...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
14
SCORE
7.661

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
NR
15
SCORE
7.651

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
7
16
SCORE
7.640

Adams and Reese LLP

Established in 1951, esteemed Southern law firm Adams and Reese follows its "Out in Front" motto. With specialties in litigation, corporate and special...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
17
SCORE
7.632

Seward & Kissel LLP

Founded in 1890, Seward & Kissel has grown into a major player in the financial world, serving clients ranging from investment funds to big banks....

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
18
SCORE
7.629

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
17
19
SCORE
7.605

Fox Rothschild LLP

With nearly 600 attorneys practicing across 19 offices coast to coast serving clients in various industries, Fox Rothschild doesn't put all of its eggs...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
10
20
SCORE
7.592

DLA Piper

With approximately 4,200 lawyers in 88 offices around the globe, DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms-as in sheer size-in the world. Hunting and...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
21
SCORE
7.590

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

2013 Rank
NR
22
SCORE
7.567

Squire Sanders

Effective June 1, 2014, Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs merged to create Squire Patton Boggs.  The combined firm consists of over 1,500 lawyers...

TRENDING

2013 Rank
NR
23
SCORE
7.565

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

2013 Rank
11
24
SCORE
7.564

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
21
25
SCORE
7.547

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

2013 Rank
25