Top law firms for career development

Satisfaction surveys rec

In the 2020 survey, we identified the best-performing law firms for associate career development


For every firm taking part in our annual interview-based research, we also invite their junior associates to respond to an online survey covering every aspect of law firm life. They complete 40 questions asking about everything from their initial views on the firm and its competitors, to their relationships with partners and clients, to the firm's handling of D&I and pro bono. We also ask them about their expectations, aspirations and how important all these factors were when joining the profession and how those views change as they mature. Each question involves a rating, which we agglomerate here for comparison. The career progression scores are a combination of all topics that can affect career progression, such as work acquisition and practice-building, partner mentoring and client contact, support on menial tasks, quality of case experiences, D&I policy affecting upward progress, pro bono work that develops skills. 

The Elite

Akin Gump| Dechert| Finnegan| Fish & Richardson| Foley Hoag| McDermott| Munger, Tolles & Olson| Paul Hastings| Sidley Austin| White & Case

Excellent performer

Adam Leitman Bailey | Cleary Gottlieb | Duane Morris | Foley & Lardner | Gibson, Dunn | Greenberg Glusker | Harris, Wiltshire | Holwell Shuster | Jackson Walker | Kirkland & Ellis | Latham & Watkins | Linklaters | Patterson Belknap | Perkins Coie | Thompson & Knight

Strong performer


Allen & Overy | Arnold & Porter | Axinn | Clifford Chance | Cooley | Debevoise & Plimpton | Goodwin | Greenberg Traurig | Gunderson | Haynes and Boone | Irell & Manella | Katten | King & Spalding | Kramer Levin | Morgan, Lewis & Bockius | Morrison & Foerster | Orrick | Proskauer Rose | Schulte Roth & Zabel | Sterne, Kessler | Vedder Price | Waller | Wiley Rein | Willkie Farr | Winston & Strawn



Alston & Bird | Ashurst | Baker Botts | Bracewell | Cadwalader | CahillChoate Hall & Stewart | Covington & Burling | Cozen O'Connor | Cravath | Crowell & Moring | Davis Polk & Wardwell | Dorsey & Whitney | Dykema Gossett | Fox Rothschild | Freshfields | Fried, Frank | Goulston & Storrs | Hogan Lovells US | Holland & Knight | Hunton Andrews Kurth | Jenner & Block | Jones Day | K&L Gates | Mayer Brown | Milbank | Mintz Levin | Nelson Mullins | Norton Rose Fulbright | Paul, Weiss | Pillsbury | Reed Smith | Seward & Kissel | Seyfarth Shaw | Shearman & Sterling | Sheppard, Mullin | Simpson Thacher | Skadden | Sullivan & Cromwell | Venable | Vinson & Elkins | Weil | Wilson Sonsini


Career dev improvers


To assess whether associate satisfaction with career development is meeting, exceeding or falling short of expectations, we ask a series of questions to measure what incoming associates expected, and how important career development is to them at this stage in their careers. 

In general, to exceed expectation is a good thing, but outcomes also depend on the accuracy of the firm's recruitment marketing as well as the truths behind the rumors at large.

Career dev exceeding

Satisfaction surveys rec

The most satisfied associates

Career development survey

Retention survey

Benefits and quality of life survey

The best firms for pro bono

The best firms for diversity

The best firms for Covid-19 response (NEW)


e best firms for diversity