The 25 best law firms to work for

Ranking reveals that Williams & Connolly takes the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row, Patton Boggs rises eight spots to No. 3 from 2011

Quality of life is always an important consideration for employees. And for attorneys, who work in a profession infamous for its high stress and long hours, finding the right employer that relieves—or at least somewhat softens—these burdens can be a godsend.

To that end, Vault.com, which provides employer and university rankings, ratings and reconnaissance, yesterday released its 2013 Law Firm Quality of Life Rankings. The rankings assessed what firms offer the best overall work experience, including such factors as: firm culture, satisfaction, compensation, formal and informal training, hours and business outlook, office space, pro bono work and green initiatives, among others.

However, Vault’s rankings differ somewhat from others. To get its rankings data, Vault sends a survey to law firm associates asking them to rank their own firms on a list of factors. For the 2013 survey, Vault polled nearly 17,000 associates from across the country.

“Associates have unique insights into the strengths of practice areas at their peer firms,” Vault.com’s law editor Rachel Marx told InsideCounsel in June after Vault released its 2013 Practice Area Rankings. “They interact with other associates and partners at these firms while working on deals and cases, and this experience informs their opinion of which firms are the strongest in their practice area.”

From those responses, Vault calculated each firm's overall score using the following formula: 40 percent satisfaction; 10 percent hours; 10 percent pay; 10 percent associate/partner relations; 5 percent formal training; 5 percent informal training/mentoring; 5 percent pro bono; 5 percent diversity (overall); 10 percent business outlook.

Vault.com’s top 25 best law firms to work for are:

  1. Williams & Connolly LLP
  2. Ropes & Gray LLP            
  3. Patton Boggs LLP             
  4. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC      
  5. Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP               
  6. Foley Hoag LLP 
  7. Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
  8. Fish & Richardson P.C.
  9. Paul Hastings LLP
  10. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  11. Morrison & Foerster LLP
  12. Alston & Bird LLP
  13. Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
  14. Latham & Watkins LLP
  15. Fenwick & West LLP
  16. Jones Day
  17. Thompson & Knight LLP
  18. Carlton Fields
  19. O'Melveny & Myers LLP
  20. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
  21. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  22. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  23. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  24. Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  25. Hogan Lovells US LLP

To learn more about where firms ranked in a specific category, visit Vault’s website.

And for more from InsideCounsel on other recent law-related rankings, read:

Top law firms named by practice area

U.S. News & World Report names 2013 best law schools

Top 25 U.S. law firms named by brand

Best law firms named by U.S. News & World Report

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