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 Best Law Firms for Substantive Work

1
SCORE
9.156

Thompson & Knight LLP

Alive and kicking since the late nineteenth century, Dallas-based Thompson & Knight has evolved from a Texas oil and gas law firm into an...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
2
SCORE
9.154

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
3
3
SCORE
9.122

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
5
4
SCORE
9.073

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
2
5
SCORE
9.072

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
6
SCORE
9.052

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

2016 Rank
1
7
SCORE
9.050

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
7
8
SCORE
9.025

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
9
SCORE
8.981

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

2016 Rank
6
10
SCORE
8.973

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

2016 Rank
10
11
SCORE
8.969

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
4
12
SCORE
8.891

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

2016 Rank
NR
13
SCORE
8.810

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

2016 Rank
17
14
SCORE
8.735

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

2016 Rank
16
15
SCORE
8.722

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
NR
16
SCORE
8.709

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP was founded in 1920 in San Francisco by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley. The practice they started went on to become a major player in...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
22
17
SCORE
8.703

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
14
18
SCORE
8.697

Wiley Rein LLP

Founded in 1983, Wiley Rein has been a dominant presence in the nation's capital for more than three decades.  Originally known for its experience...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
19
SCORE
8.667

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

2016 Rank
23
20
SCORE
8.649

Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Since 1899, Choate Hall & Stewart has remained a Boston firm through and through. Although smaller in number than their national competitors, Choate...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
21
SCORE
8.646

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
24
22
SCORE
8.640

Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Founded in 1938, Benesch is one of Cleveland's most notable law firms. Benesch's core practice areas include corporate & securities, healthcare,...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
23
SCORE
8.634

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with "sports law"-clients include Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA. Although flashy, this...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
NR
24
SCORE
8.627

Quarles & Brady LLP

Quarles & Brady has successfully combined its Midwestern roots with multi-region power through thriving health law and intellectual property...

TRENDING

2016 Rank
20
25
SCORE
8.621

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

2016 Rank
9

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