Washington DC's top law firms

The legal market

DC skyline with label

ADMINISTRATION and regulation – these two rather bland words do an injustice to what are the themes of the DC legal market. As you'll see in the Chambers USA rankings below, DC is an island as legal markets go: government, and the spheres of business most closely affected by the machinations inside the Capitol, dictate everything. Elsewhere in the US, regulatory practice areas tend to play second fiddle to big transactional and litigation work; not in DC. Environment, projects, space law, life sciences, telecoms, healthcare, and IP all make the headlines here in DC. A career here offers something rather unique. 

DC led the pack in our survey this year on pro bono, in which associates felt the capital offers the best pro bono experience in the country. Access to NGOs and public institutions means there are great opportunities for young lawyers to learn from the nation’s most challenging work. 

Satisfaction survey

Associate satisfaction

Which firms in DC offer the best associate experience? We only shortlisted firms that:

a) had a significant associate presence in DC

b) demonstrated excellence in our survey using net-promoter scoring. 




Associate satisfaction

  1. Finnegan

  2. Gibson Dunn

  3. Sidley Austin

  4. Covington & Burling

  5. Dechert

  6. Cleary

  7. Akin Gump

  8. White & Case

  9. Latham & Watkins

  10. Paul Hastings

  11. Jenner & Block

  12. Kirkland & Ellis

  13. Hogan Lovells

Retention: leading firms

  1. White & Case

  2. Paul Hastings

  3. Latham & Watkins

  4. Finnegan

  5. Gibson Dunn

  6. Sidley Austin

  7. Dechert

  8. Akin Gump

  9. Cleary

  10. Covington & Burling

  11. Jenner & Block

  12. Perkins Coie

Career opportunities

  1. Gibson Dunn

  2. Dechert

  3. Finnegan

  4. Covington & Burling

  5. Paul Hastings

  6. White & Case

  7. Latham & Watkins

  8. Sidley Austin

  9. Cleary

  10. Akin Gump

  11. Kirkland & Ellis

Benefits & quality of life

  1. Latham & Watkins

  2. White & Case

  3. Paul Hastings

  4. Sidley Austin

  5. Dechert

  6. Finnegan

  7. Gibson Dunn

  8. Akin Gump

  9. Cleary

  10. Jenner & Block

  11. Hogan Lovells

  12. Skadden

Pro bono leaders

  1. Covington & Burling

  2. Jenner & Block

  3. Latham & Watkins

  4. Dechert

  5. Akin Gump

  6. Paul Hastings

  7. White & Case

  8. Gibson Dunn

  9. Sidley Austin

  10. Finnegan

  11. Paul, Weiss

  12. Skadden

  13. Hogan Lovells

  14. Cleary

  15. DLA Piper

  16. Kirkland & Ellis

  17. Perkins Coie

Diversity & inclusion leaders

coming soon...

Size

AvatarThe size of a firm's offices in a city has a massive influence on its culture and ability to carry out certain types of work. Below we've highlighted the top 50 firms in DC by headcount as well as the DC heritage and boutique firms. 

 

 

The DC top 50

DC headcount 50

DC heritage and boutiques

DC heritage and boutiques

Expertise

Chambers USA

Market snapshot

If you're motivated by doing the best work possible, the industry-recognized Chambers USA rankings are invaluable. Here are the best firms in Washington DC for some the most common practice areas, plus the others that define the DC market. This isn't a complete list of the Chambers rankings, and we have cut the list off at Band 4 as this is just a snapshot. Full rankings can be found at chambers.com.

Antitrust

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4

 
 
 
 
 
   

Corporate /
M&A &
private
equity

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4

   
   

Environment

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4

 
     
     

Government

contracts
(USA nationwide)

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4

 
 
   
     
     
     
     

Government
relations
(USA nationwide)

Band 1 Band 2 Band 3
       
 
 
 
   
   

Healthcare

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4

     
     
     
     

Intellectual
property
litigation

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4

 
   
     

Litigation:
general
commercial

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4

   
   
   
   
     

Telecom,
broadcast
and satellite

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4