Top Ranked

Vault Law 100

Vault’s ranking of the most prestigious law firms in the country based on the assessments of lawyers at peer firms. This year nearly 18,000 associates rated the reputations of firms other than their own.

  • Survey Methodology

    How does Vault come up with its list of the Top 100 law firms? The first step is to compile a list of the most renowned law firms across the country by reviewing the feedback we have received in previous surveys, poring over legal publications, speaking with lawyers, legal recruiters, and law firm personnel, and reviewing other published rankings. We then asked these top firms to distribute an online survey to their associates. This year, nearly 18,000 attorneys returned anonymous surveys to Vault. Associates from all over the country and the world responded. We heard from lawyers in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, DC, Miami, London, Cleveland, Seattle, Orlando, Paris, Phoenix, Atlanta and many other domestic and international locations. The online survey asked attorneys to score each of the law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how prestigious they perceive the firm to be. Associates were instructed to only rate those firms with which they were familiar and were not permitted to rate their own firm. Vault then tallied the scores and now presents the results in our Top 100 ranking.

  • Ranking History

2018 Vault Law 100

1
SCORE
9.056

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

2017 Rank
1
2
SCORE
8.788

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

2017 Rank
2
3
SCORE
8.673

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

2017 Rank
3
4
SCORE
8.412

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

2017 Rank
4
5
SCORE
8.043

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

2017 Rank
5
6
SCORE
7.980

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is a Wall Street institution, housing elite teams in M&A, banking, capital markets and litigation. The firm is a bit...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
6
7
SCORE
7.949

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

2017 Rank
7
8
SCORE
7.901

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis has a strong reputation in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation, restructuring and...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
8
9
SCORE
7.645

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

2017 Rank
10
10
SCORE
7.635

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

A powerhouse in restructuring, M&A, private equity, and litigation, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has long been one of the world's leading law firms....

TRENDING

2017 Rank
11
11
SCORE
7.585

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

2017 Rank
12
12
SCORE
7.575

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

2017 Rank
9
13
SCORE
7.468

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

2017 Rank
15
14
SCORE
7.453

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin is one of the largest U.S. law firms and traces its roots back to the 1866 founding of predecessor firm Williams & Thompson in Chicago....

TRENDING

2017 Rank
14
15
SCORE
7.303

Jones Day

A heavy-hitter with a hand in most major areas of law and an internationally-recognized prowess in litigation, Jones Day uses its size and reach-offices...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
18
16
SCORE
7.272

Covington & Burling LLP

This "brain trust" law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business-that business being antitrust, litigation, white collar defense...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
13
17
SCORE
7.087

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

2017 Rank
17
18
SCORE
6.993

White & Case LLP

Founded at the dawn of the 20th century, White & Case has grown from its New York beginnings to become a truly global law firm with a longstanding...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
20
19
SCORE
6.963

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

2017 Rank
19
20
SCORE
6.958

Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP

Started in 1997, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is a relative newcomer to the elite firm ranks but already boasts nearly 300 lawyers and has its...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
16
21
SCORE
6.848

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray has expanded in every measurable way in the 21st century, acquiring smaller boutique firms in the States while claiming new turf in Asia...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
21
22
SCORE
6.792

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

2017 Rank
24
23
SCORE
6.790

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

2017 Rank
22
24
SCORE
6.739

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

2017 Rank
23
25
SCORE
6.437

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

2017 Rank
26
26
SCORE
6.328

Hogan Lovells LLP

Formed on May 1, 2010 by the merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells, Hogan Lovells is a global megafirm with more than 450 offices in the United...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
31
27
SCORE
6.278

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with "sports law"-clients include Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
30
28
SCORE
6.266

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Founded in Texas in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has grown to become one of the world's largest law firms, with over 900 lawyers...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
29
29
SCORE
6.176

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Starting the year off with a bang, January 1, 2017 marked the beginning of a new firm, when the Washington, DC giant Arnold & Porter combined with...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
25
30
SCORE
6.169

Baker McKenzie

Baker & McKenzie takes "global" to a whole new level, with its plethora of global offices spanning every continent. The firm's geographic and...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
28
31
SCORE
6.157

Mayer Brown LLP

Mayer Brown is a leading international law firm with offices in key business centers across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and employs...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
34
32
SCORE
6.154

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

2017 Rank
35
33
SCORE
6.090

Clifford Chance US LLP

In many ways, the formation of Clifford Chance presaged the future of modern law practice, especially as it is carried out in its native City of London....

TRENDING

2017 Rank
27
34
SCORE
6.063

K&L Gates LLP

What a difference a couple of years make: the firm now branded K&L Gates has undergone a series of identity-shifting mergers in modern times. On the...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
39
35
SCORE
6.056

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

One of SoCal's elites, Munger, Tolles & Olson has only recently expanded beyond the Golden State. The firm is similarly consistent in its recruiting:...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
38
36
SCORE
6.041

Linklaters LLP (US)

Consistently ranked as a top money-maker, both in terms of firm profits and PPP, Magic Circle firm Linklaters has achieved legal industry royalty by...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
33
37
SCORE
6.037

DLA Piper

With approximately 4,200 lawyers in 90+ offices around the globe, DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms-both by headcount and by revenue-in the...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
41
38
SCORE
5.996

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is one of the nation's leading firms for corporate finance and restructuring, litigation, and project finance,...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
42
39
SCORE
5.978

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

2017 Rank
43
40
SCORE
5.962

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling is one of the world's premier law firms, serving the domestic and cross-border needs of an impressive roster of clients. With...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
36
41
SCORE
5.894

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy stands as not only one of the U.K.'s most prestigious law firms-a pillar of the vaunted Magic Circle-but one of the largest firms in...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
40
42
SCORE
5.893

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan Lewis has branched out from its Philadelphia roots to build an international network of lawyers in thirty offices reaching from Boston to...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
46
43
SCORE
5.870

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati built its reputation advising some of the major tech and life sciences industries as well as the banks and venture...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
47
44
SCORE
5.843

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Established 225 years ago, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is the oldest Wall Street firm still in existence. Known especially for its capital...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
37
45
SCORE
5.841

Baker Botts LLP

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

TRENDING

2017 Rank
44
46
SCORE
5.839

King & Spalding

Over its 130-year history, King & Spalding has branched far from its Southern roots to open offices across the United States, Europe, the Middle...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
49
47
SCORE
5.782

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn has an enviable 160+ year track record. The global law firm is comprised of 18 offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia,...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
54
48
SCORE
5.745

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

2017 Rank
45
49
SCORE
5.739

Goodwin

Founded in Boston in 1912, over the past century Goodwin has grown to more than 1,000 lawyers in ten offices throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
32
50
SCORE
5.688

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie has all the history you could ask for and then some. The firm's clients have ranged from inventors to industrial titans to elite financial...

TRENDING

2017 Rank
53
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