The National Jurist - Back to School 2017 - 23
No. 10 Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
One word: litigation. If that's the law gig you want, then this is your go-to firm. The American Lawyer
magazine gave the firm Litigation Department of the Year honors in 2016. That's the third time it
has won since 2000. But the firm also has thriving practices in real estate, environmental law and
labor & employment. With more than $1.5 billion in revenue, it is the second-largest firm in Southern
California and the 11th largest in the U.S.
No. 11 Covington & Burling
O'Melveny & Myers earns high
marks from associates for its pro bono
program, in-house career counseling,
and unique culture made up of quirky
West Coast types.
Another of the nation's most prestigious law firms, Covington & Burling is known for a low-key
intellectual environment with strong practices in antitrust, litigation, corporate, intellectual property
and regulatory work. It's made The American Lawyer's A List a host of times, the most recent being in
2016. It generates $742 million in revenue, and associates praise it for reasonable hours, selectivity
and associate-partner relations.
No. 12 Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Weil Gotshal & Manges is a leader in M&A, tax and corporate law, with $1.16 billion in revenue. Its
business finance and restructuring practice is tops in the nation, with former clients including GM, AIG
and - the granddaddy of them all - Lehman Brothers. It offers a great culture, strong relationships
with partners and a commitment to diversity.
No. 13 Irell & Manella
intellectual elite are heading to tech, where
many companies have progressive philosophies that focus on work-life balance?
Whether it's deserved or not, Big Law
doesn't have the best rep when it comes
to that. It's known for burning through
associates like the Cleveland Browns burn
So Vault seeks to identify firms that are
bucking that stereotype. It surveys nearly
18,000 associates and asks them to chime in
on a host of work-related elements, including job satisfaction, firm culture, hours,
compensation, substantive work, business
outlook, career outlook, associate-partner
relations, transparency, formal and informal
training, pro bono and overall diversity.
No. 1 in Vault's survey was Paul
Hastings. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it
got the highest marks for associate-partner
relations, quality of work and satisfaction.
"We continue to do well in associate
satisfaction rankings because we ask our
associates what matters to them, what we're
doing right, and where we can improve,"
said Cindy Hasson, director, talent acquisition at Paul Hastings. "We then try and
implement changes that help us to ensure
that Paul Hastings is a rewarding place to
work. At the end of the day, our main focus
is on delivering a professional experience
that will help associates be successful."
For all of the top firms, Vault's list is
Hooray for Hollywood ... This firm has roots that date back to the golden days of Tinseltown.
Co-founder Arthur Manella handled the tax problems of many important entertainment figures,
including Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elizabeth Taylor. The firm has grown significantly
since then, with strong practices in intellectual property and commercial litigation. Associates rate it
high for substantive work, selectivity and satisfaction.
No. 14 Morrison & Foerster
San Francisco-based Morrison & Foerster - or MoFo - is the top firm in Northern California, with $979
million in revenue. It has strong practices in intellectual property, technology, environmental law
and clean tech. It's big on pro bono, being one of just two firms to be honored by Law360 as a top
pro bono firm every year since the listing was established. The firm also offers strong mentoring and
No. 15 sidley Austin
The Chicago-headquartered law firm is one of the largest firms in the world, with $1.867 billion in
revenue. It excels in environmental law, appellate litigation, products liability, energy law and real
estate. It offers realistic partnership prospects and a commitment to diversity, with the distinction of
having employed both Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
No. 16 Pillsbury Winthrop shaw Pittman
Pillsbury has evolved during the years through a series of mergers, but its two largest practice areas
continue to be business and litigation. Associates are given a lot of responsibility and a wide variety
of work. The firm has a history of doing innovative legal work, including being the first law firm to
register a trademark for a dotcom. For three years running, it has been recognized as one of the most
innovative law firms by Financial Times.
No. 17 Debevoise & Plimpton
Debevoise is one of the premier white-collar defense firms in the nation. It includes Mary Jo White,
former chair of the Securities Exchange Commission, and 16 former federal prosecutors. Other strong
practice areas include international law, private equity and M&A, and the firm brings in $757 million
in revenue. It is known for its formal training and diversity.
Back to School 2017
The NaTioNal JurisT