Worldwide Plaza World Wide Plaza Cravath Swaine Moore Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s an idea that we liked, from a thoughtful and helpful reader:

I was a big fan of your recruiting threads by city. Same goes for the firm benefits/perks threads. One problem, however, is that people often say what it’s like at their firm but fail to mention which firm those perks apply to. I understand the need for confidentiality, but it defeats the purpose of finding out what certain firms are like.

One possible way to remedy this is to do similar posts, but to list just a handful of firms to discuss for that day. Probably the best way would be to go down the Vault 100, since most people consider this gospel. For instance, the first day you could start a thread about the top 5 firms on Vault, to discuss perks, hours, recruiting, firm life, etc.

This way, if someone who posts does not want to discuss which firm they are at, people can still have a general idea [of what firms in that tier are like]. There aren’t too many differences between the top 1-5 firms, and same goes for the next five and the next five.

We like this idea, and we like Vault. They publish a great guide to law firms, they advertise on ATL, and they have a shout-out to us in their write-up of Wachtell Lipton (which you can see after the jump).
So we’ll give this a try. If the discussion is anemic and/or insipid, then we’ll just write it off as a failed experiment. But if the discussion is robust and informative, then we’ll keep on going. Here is today’s quintet of law firms (with Vault prestige scores indicated parenthetically):

1. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (8.780)
2. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP (8.732)
3. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (8.224)
4. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (8.197)
5. Davis Polk & Wardwell (8.126)

Please discuss and compare these firms in the comments. Thanks.
The Vault Top 100 Law Firms [Vault]
Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms (2008 Edition) [Vault]


The Vault Guide is an invaluable resource for aspiring Biglaw lawyers. Here’s an excerpt from Vault’s write-up of Wachtell Lipton, where we once worked:

Black sheep and cheeky monkeys

Among younger BigLaw associates, the firm’s most famous alumnus may be its most irreverent. In 2005, the identity of David Lat, creator of the Underneath Their Robes legal blog (and now editor of the equally impudent and compulsively readable Abovethelaw.com) was revealed in a New Yorker article. The unmasked avenger is a former federal prosecutor and ex-Wachtell associate; starting in 2000, Lat spent two-and-a-half years at the firm, working on commercial litigation and M&A.


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