Top law firms for associate retention

Associate satisfaction wide

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


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


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  


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  


White & Case 96.867


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


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  


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  


Goodwin 95.536


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


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  


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  


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  


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  


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  


Sidley Austin 93.551


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


Proskauer 93.156


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


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  


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?


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  


Adam Leitman Bailey 92.083


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


Mintz Levin 91.400


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


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  


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  


Stroock 90.109


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


Willkie Farr 89.568


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


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  


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  


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  


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  


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  


Choate 88.208


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


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  


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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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  


Jenner & Block 87.518


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


Fish & Richardson 87.483


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


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  


Jones Day 87.047


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


Cahill 86.973


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


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  


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  


Kasowitz 85.894


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


Axinn 85.829


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


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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  


Venable 84.408


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


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  


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  


Hogan Lovells 84.281


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


Cozen 84.103


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


Vedder 83.913


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


DLA Piper 82.939


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


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  


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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The best firms for pro bono

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