Top law firms for associate satisfaction

Associate satisfaction wide

In the 2020 survey, we identified the best performing law firms for associate satisfaction.

Methodology

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.

Rank Law Firm Survey score

1

White & Case

337.926

 

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

 

2

Paul Hastings

332.382

 

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

 

3

Latham & Watkins

329.999

 

‘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

 

4

Finnegan

328.728

 

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

 

5

Munger

324.982

 

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

 

6

Dechert

324.280

 

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

 

7

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg

323.867

 

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

 

8

Goodwin

321.956

 

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

 

9

Patterson Bellknap

321.769

 

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

 

10

Cleary

321.558

 

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

 

11

Akin Gump

320.491

 

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

 

12

Proskauer

319.924

 

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

 

13

Foley Hoag

319.817

 

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

 

14

Kramer Levin

319.400

 

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

 

15

Gibson Dunn

317.665

 

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

 
 Tech transactions – White & Case

Tech transactions uncovered

One of the few transactional areas to remain buoyant in this onset of a recession is tech M&A. White & Case take us behind the scenes.

16

Willkie Farr

314.322

 

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

 

17

Sidley Austin

314.088

 

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

 

18

McDermott

313.492

 

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

 

19

Linklaters

313.372

 

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

 

20

Stroock

312.403

 

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

 

21

Choate

312.190

 

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

 

22

Kirkland & Ellis

311.890

 

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

 

23

Haynes and Boone

311.607

 

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

 

24

Greenberg Glusker

311.588

 

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

 

25

Jenner & Block

311.369

 

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

 

26

Debevoise

310.717

 

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

 

27

Allen & Overy

310.641

 

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

 

28

Ashurst

309.367

 

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

 

29

Adam Leitman Bailey

309.283

 

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

 

30

Jackson Walker

309.248

 

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

 

 

    Space and transportation 3 x 2Transportation and space, with Milbank

Ever wondered what it might be like to help launch a constellation of satellites? Or fly in an aircraft you've helped to finance? Join Milbank's transportation and space experts as they take you through their global practice, which involves keeping our ever-changing world moving and connected.

31

Fish & Richardson

307.257

 

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

 

32

Perkins Coie

306.791

 

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

 

33

Schulte Roth

306.762

 

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

 

34

Covington & Burling

306.595

 

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

 

35

Morrison & Foerster

306.297

 

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

 

36

Skadden

305.798

 

The force is strong with this one: no list of the New York legal elite is complete without Skadden. ... Read More

 

37

Cahill

305.405

 

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

 

38

DLA Piper

304.828

 

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

 

39

Norton Rose

304.340

 

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

 

40

Alston & Bird

303.938

 

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

 

41

Hogan Lovells

303.270

 

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

 

42

Mintz Levin

303.267

 

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

 

43

Cozen

301.923

 

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

 

44

Vedder

301.129

 

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

 

45

Cadwalader

300.951

 

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

 

46

Brown Rudnick

299.672

 

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

 

47

Venable

299.573

 

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

 

48

Dorsey & Whitney

299.053

 

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

 

49

Milbank

298.716

 

Associates can bank on this New York institution for big money work and bonuses with no billable hours targets.... Read More

 

50

Irell

296.493

 

IP whiz Irell & Manella is an “intellectually diverse” place to work in the Golden State.... Read More

 

Associate satisfaction

The associate satisfaction top 50

Career development survey

Retention survey

Benefits and quality of life survey

The best firms for pro bono

The best firms for diversity