Top law firms for associate retention

Associate satisfaction wide

In our 2020 research, we identified the best-performing law firms for associate retention.

Methodology

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 retention scores are a combination of all topics that can affect firm loyalty, such as work acquisition and practice-building, partner mentoring and client contact, quality of case experiences, D&I policy affecting upward progress, pro bono work that develops skills.

Rank Firm Survey score

1

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg 98.400

 

Want to master the art of litigating in a petite environment with lots of opportunity for growth? If the answer’s yes, this New York boutique should be on your list. ... Read More  

2

Patterson Bellknap 97.273
  Patterson Belknap and the judiciary go together like PB & J. This disputes dynamo "isn't a factory firm;” it offers the New York market something a little different...... Read More  

3

White & Case 96.867

 

Building its profile and revenue year-on-year, this firm is a (White &) Case study in international success. ... Read More  

4

Paul Hastings 96.651

 

If the pH scale measured law firm performance, then LA-born Paul Hastings would score a perfect 7 for balancing global, high-end work with a gentler and more sustaining BigLaw vibe.... Read More  

5

Latham & Watkins 96.225

 

‘Unassigned’ juniors, free to roam across practice areas? No HQ in a sprawling international network? You can’t pin the mighty Latham down...... Read More  

6

Goodwin 95.536

 

Looking for a modern firm doing good work with a winning spread of specialist practices? Tech this out…... Read More  

7

Greenberg Glusker 94.750

 

Kermit bemoaned that it’s not easy being green, but LA’s Greenberg Glusker makes it look like a breeze: everything from Tinseltown fallouts to real estate ventures and climate matters are covered here – and from just one compact office.  ... Read More  

8

Foley Hoag 94.714

 

Rather than being a ‘jack of all trades,’ Boston mid-sizer Foley Hoag chooses to master a handful of industry focuses instead. ... Read More  

9

Finnegan 94.684

 

Firms hoping to hold a candle to the dedicated focus of Finnegan’s intellectual property expertise must burn extra bright.  ... Read More  

10

Gibson Dunn 94.630

 

When it comes to colossal cases and dynamic disputes, this BigLaw behemoth has been there and Gibson Dunn that.... Read More  

11

Ashurst 94.000

 

Public-private partnership isn’t just a cool tongue twister, it’s also an exciting and fast-growing area of work for lawyers in the US. Enter Ashurst… ... Read More  

12

Sidley Austin 93.551

 

A global giant with a “family-friendly” culture. This prestigious, Windy City native will blow you away. ... Read More  

13

Proskauer 93.156

 

Fancy tackling thorny legal issues for often-high-profile clients? Better sniff out what this Rose has to offer... ... Read More  

14

Jackson Walker 93.105

 

Career development is put front-and-center at the Texan firm that’s leaving associates Jackson Walking on sunshine.... Read More  

15

Dechert 93.003

 

International work with real-time, practical feedback provided? Philly your boots at Dechert...... Read More  

 

Attrition gender 

 

Men and women leave law firms for different reasons: why?

16

Munger 92.991

 

It was a case of California Calling for juniors at this litigation-leaning outfit where lawyers“aren’t just good at their job but love the craft of law.”... Read More  

17

Adam Leitman Bailey 92.083

 

This Manhattan boutique is a one-stop shop for real estate law. ... Read More  

18

Mintz Levin 91.400

 

Massachusetts-made Mintz maintains momentum in the mid-market while “appreciating people’s lives outside the office.” Mmmm!... Read More  

19

Norton Rose 91.237

 

NRF spent the last five years becoming a high-flying global firm. Those seeking projects, finance or litigation and investigations work should take note.... Read More  

20

Haynes and Boone 90.743

 

A very happy 50th birthday to Haynes and Boone, the Texas-born firm whose reach stretches far beyond the Lone Star State.... Read More  

21

Stroock 90.109

 

Stroock², a New York firm exponentially nicer than its competitors.... Read More  

22

Willkie Farr 89.568

 

New York corporate law with an active social life? Where there’s a Willkie, there’s a way. ... Read More  

23

Akin Gump 89.388

 

Move over Forrest, it’s all about Akin Gump in this guide – the megafirm with roots in Texas, its largest base in DC, management in New York, and offices around the world.... Read More  

24

Linklaters 88.992

 

A legal giant from across the pond with nearly 200 years of history to its name; a firm with countless international Links.... Read More  

25

Kramer Levin 88.495

 

It may be famous for its litigation, but it’s not Kramer vs Kramer at this friendly New Yorker. ... Read More  

26

Cleary 88.430

 

What do you get if you mix international eminence with a pedagogic culture – and add “a few man buns in the office” for good measure? Clearly, it’s Cleary. ... Read More  

27

McDermott 88.315

 

Food and beverages. Healthcare. Private equity. If you don’t think those three things fit together, the folks at McDermott have got news for you.... Read More  

28

Choate 88.208

 

Boston’s one-office wolfpack doesn't plan on compromising its culture of community anytime soon.... Read More  

29

Covington & Burling 88.000

 

The smart money’s on Covington: a magnet for the best and brightest legal minds in DC, nationally and around the world.... Read More  

30

Dorsey & Whitney 87.933

 

There’s a reason Minneapolis is sometimes called the Mini Apple. Just ask the juniors at Dorsey & Whitney, the Minneapolis-headquartered firm with offices across the US and the world.... Read More  

 

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31

Schulte Roth 87.563

 

For a “more intimate BigLaw experience,” hit up the New Yorker that knows a wise investment when it sees one.... Read More  

32

Jenner & Block 87.518

 

Top-quality litigation meets top-tier pro bono commitment at the most Jenner-ous firm on the Block.... Read More  

33

Fish & Richardson 87.483

 

Fishing for a top IP firm with an academic culture? This might be the plaice for you. ... Read More  

34

Allen & Overy 87.463

 

Allen & Overy. Proper noun: global finance and commercial giant; UK magic circle outfit that’s growing in the US.... Read More  

35

Jones Day 87.047

 

Juniors at jumbo Jones Day reap the rewards of working with colleagues across the country. ... Read More  

36

Cahill 86.973

 

Every day is Independence Day at this finance-focused land of the free-market.... Read More  

37

Alston & Bird 86.652

 

Flying high in Georgia and soaring to new heights nationally (and internationally), A&B is an ideal nest for baby legal eagles.... Read More  

38

Perkins Coie 86.145

 

Techy, forward-thinking and sticking it to the Man; if any firm embodies Gen-Z spirit, it’s Perkins Coie.... Read More  

39

Kasowitz 85.894

 

Anybody looking to “throw themselves in quickly” with these “relentless litigators” needs their (Kaso)wits about them.... Read More  

40

Axinn 85.829

 

Antitrust and IP go hand in hand with high expectations at this smart boutique.  ... Read More  

 

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41

Debevoise 85.363

 

Nice guys don’t have to finish last. Debevoise is proof positive that winning the BigLaw race doesn’t always require sharp elbows.... Read More  

42

Venable 84.408

 

Merging with IP firm Fitzpatrick didn’t put a dent in Venable’s famed culture.... Read More  

43

Kirkland & Ellis 84.381

 

If you’ve got a nose for money, this record-breaking market leader will smell delicious – but it’s not just dollar that draws associates here.... Read More  

44

Brown Rudnick 84.328

 

When creditors find themselves in times of trouble, Brown Rudnick comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be… dealt with by Boston’s bankruptcy bigwigs!... Read More  

45

Hogan Lovells 84.281

 

All you need is Lovells, according to associates at this Anglo-American titan.... Read More  

46

Cozen 84.103

 

“A modern, nimble firm with an entrepreneurial spirit,” Cozen is on the up-up-up all over the US.... Read More  

47

Vedder 83.913

 

Prepare yourself for take-off.... Read More  

48

DLA Piper 82.939

 

DLA Piper’s extensive presence across the States is supported by a sophisticated global network.... Read More  

49

Morrison & Foerster 82.862

 

Top-tier tech practices, “a long-standing commitment to pro bono,” and a Cali cool culture? It must be MoFo. ... Read More  

50

Cadwalader 82.583

 

As one of the oldest and finest finance firms in New York, Cadwalader balances Wall Street BigLaw with a culture where “you can be yourself.”... Read More  

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Expert guidance on planning your next step

 

 

 

Associate satisfaction

The most satisfied associates

Career development survey

Retention survey

Benefits and quality of life survey

The best firms for pro bono

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