Vault logo law firm rankings career guides.jpgThis morning we brought you a special sneak preview of the 2009 Vault law firm rankings (to be released in full on Tuesday, August 12, over at the Vault website). We passed along two compilations: (1) firms ranked 26-50 by prestige, and (2) firms 11-20 on the “best to work for” list.
Now, as promised, we bring you the balance of the rankings: firms 1-50 by prestige, and all 20 of the “best to work for” firms.
Check out the lists, plus comment from Vault law editor Brian Dalton, after the jump.


Here are the rankings. Commentary from Vault law editor Brian Dalton appears in blockquotes.
VAULT — LAW FIRM RANKINGS — BY PRESTIGE — #1-#25

The Top 50 list simply reflects the average prestige scores given the firm by associates. (We had close to 19,000 respondents to our survey this year.)

Our Top 10 has been stable in recent years — the only new firm this year is Kirkland & Ellis, which replaces Debevoise Covington at No. 10.

Vault law firm rankings 2009 prestige 1-25.jpg
VAULT — LAW FIRM RANKINGS — BY PRESTIGE — #26-#50

[T]he ascension of U.K. firms is striking—most notably Linklaters and Allen & Overy, which have jumped a remarkable 21 and 22 spots respectively since 2006. It seems London’s arguable eclipse of New York for the title of ‘world’s financial capital,’ as well as recent, aggressive U.S. growth by the Magic Circle has resulted in a spike in prestige and name recognition.

Vault law firm rankings 2009 prestige 26-50.jpg
VAULT — LAW FIRM RANKINGS — “BEST TO WORK FOR” — #1-#20

We determine our ‘Best Firms to Work For’ list using a blend of ‘quality of life’ categories, with ‘satisfaction’ given the most weight (40%), but hours, pay, training, diversity and pro bono also factor in.

McKee Nelson, with its layoffs, might seem incongruous here. When I saw the results, I went back to the data to confirm that our survey data did not predate the cuts. It didn’t: McKee associates commonly would qualify their responses by saying “In spite of the layoffs…” and then go on to praise the partners, training, culture, etc. Obviously, the way the firm handled the layoffs paid some goodwill dividends.

Dalton anticipated our follow-up questions about McKee Nelson (thereby preempting snarky quips). And, all things considered, the firm handled a difficult situation well — as we’ve previously noted in these pages. To see our prior coverage of McKee Nelson, click here (and scroll down).
Vault law firm rankings 2009 best to work for 1-20.jpg
Earlier: ATL Exclusive: A Sneak Peek at the 2009 Vault Rankings! (Part 1 of 2)


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