The top 10:
- Paul Hastings
- Ropes & Gray
- Williams & Connolly
- Irell & Manella
- Gibson Dunn
- Foley Hoag
- Patton Boggs
- Patterson Belknap
- Fish & Richardson
- Baker Donelson
Paul Hastings did well, jumping from ninth in the same survey last year to take top spot this time.
17,000 associate lawyers took part in this year’s survey, and rated their firms for satisfaction, compensation, associate/partner relations, training, career outlook, and several other factors.
Like the main Vault Law 100 rankings, the quality of life rankings reflect the subjective opinions of associates, with Vault noting that the rankings are based on perceptions of insiders – some of whom may be biased in favor (or against) their firms.
Released last month, the Vault 100 ranks the most renowned American law firms based on the perceptions of currently practicing lawyers.
Associates scored law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how prestigious it is to work for the firm.
There were no great surprises this year: the crown remains firmly with elite New York-based law firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore is close behind in second place.
A number of secondary rankings spin out of the main Vault list like Best in Practice, Best in Region, Best to Work For, and Diversity.
They are released in the weeks following the publication of the headline survey.
Vault’s associate satisfaction surveys sit in the same space as the American Lawyer A-List, which factors in diversity and pro bono work and goes beyond traditional measures of law firm performance such as revenue and partner profits.