Top law firms for associate satisfaction

Satisfaction surveys rec

In the 2021 survey, we identified the best performing law firms for associate satisfaction.


For every firm taking part in our annual interview-based research, we 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 diversity and pro bono. We also ask them about their expectations, aspirations and exit plans. Each question involves a rating, which we agglomerate here for comparison. The satisfaction scores are a combination of all topics that can determine job satisfaction, including stress and mental health, career development and retention.

The top law firms for Associate Satisfaction 2021

The Elite

Dechert  |  Finnegan  |  Gibson,  Dunn  |  Goodwin  |  Greenberg  Glusker  |  Latham  &  Watkins  |  McDermott  |  Paul  Hastings  |  Sidley  Austin  |  White  &  Case    


Excellent performer


Adam  Leitman  Bailey  Akin  Gump  Cleary  Gottlieb  Debevoise  &  Plimpton  Duane  Morris  Foley  Hoag  Harris,  Wiltshire  Holwell  Shuster  Linklaters  Munger,  Tolles  &  Olson  Patterson  Belknap  Proskauer  Rose  Thompson  &  Knight  Willkie  Farr  Winston  &  Strawn 

Strong performer


Allen  &  Overy  Alston  &  Bird  Arnold  &  Porter  Cahill  Clifford  Chance  Cooley  Fish  &  Richardson  Foley  &  Lardner  Greenberg  Traurig  Haynes  and  Boone  Hogan  Lovells  US  Hunton  Andrews  Kurth  Jackson  Walker  Jenner  &  Block  Kirkland  &  Ellis  Kramer  Levin  Morgan,  Lewis  &  Bockius  Morrison  &  Foerster  Orrick  Perkins  Coie  Schulte  Roth  &  Zabel  Shearman  &  Sterling  Sterne,  Kessler  Waller  Weil  Wiley  Rein 




Ashurst  Axinn  Baker  Botts  Bracewell  Cadwalader  Choate  Hall  &  Stewart  Covington  &  Burling  Cozen  O'Connor  Cravath  Crowell  &  Moring  Davis  Polk  &  Wardwell  Dorsey  &  Whitney  Dykema  Gossett  Fox  Rothschild  Freshfields  Fried,  Frank  Goulston  &  Storrs  Gunderson  Holland  &  Knight  Irell  &  Manella  Jones  Day  K&L  Gates  Katten  King  &  Spalding  Mayer  Brown  Milbank  Mintz  Levin  Nelson  Mullins  Norton  Rose  Fulbright  Paul,  Weiss  Pillsbury  Reed  Smith  Seward  &  Kissel  Seyfarth  Shaw  Sheppard,  Mullin  Simpson  Thacher  Skadden  Sullivan  &  Cromwell  Vedder  Price  Venable  Vinson  &  Elkins  Wilson  Sonsini 



To assess whether associate satisfaction is meeting, exceeding or falling short of expectations, we ask a series of questions to measure what incoming associates expected, and how important these issues are to them at this stage in their careers. For the associates who merely want a gateway into the profession and a stepping stone to their next role, we find satisfaction is something of an afterthought; for others it's far more meaningful. 

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.



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)