Fortune Best Companies to Work For 2010.jpgOnce again, Fortune magazine is out with its annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. And once again, a number of law firms have made the cut. (We’ve covered which law firms made the Fortune list in prior years: 2009, 2008, and 2007.)
This year the list has six big law firms, up from five in 2009. All of the 2009 firms remained on the list, although some went up and some went down in the rankings. They were joined by one newcomer, Baker Donelson (#77).
So which firms made the cut, and how high did they rank?


Here are the six firms that made the 2010 list. Click on each firm’s name to read their press release (where available).

  • Bingham McCutchen (#12, up from #30; sixth straight year on the list);

  • Alston & Bird (#30, up from #36; eighth straight year on the list);
  • Arnold & Porter (#65, down from #21; eighth straight year on the list);
  • Perkins Coie (#75, up from #82; eighth straight year on the list);
  • Baker Donelson (#77; not ranked last year); and
  • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (#95, down from #87; second straight year on the list).

Some highlights from the Fortune blurbs for each firm (click on the firm name for the full Fortune write-up):

  • Bingham McCutchen: “Retreats bring together lawyers of color and openly gay and lesbian lawyers.”
    (Do straight white males get retreats too?)

  • Alston & Bird: “The law firm invites all employees — everyone from receptionists to shipping clerks to legal secretaries — to attend monthly firm meeting marked by the review of a project and kudos to all who contributed.”
    (These meetings sound like huge wastes of time / circle jerks are certainly a thoughtful gesture.)

  • Arnold & Porter: “Employees who make successful referrals at this prestigious law firm are rewarded with bonuses ranging from $450 to $15,000.”
    (They also unfroze associate salaries recently, which is good.)

  • Perkins Coie: “Firm was proud to represent Obama for America, with 59 lawyers working on the campaign.”
    (And Bob Bauer, former Perkins partner, is now White House counsel.)

  • Baker Donelson: “A strong commitment to diversity at this law firm founded in 1888 has lifted number of minority lawyers from 12 to 40; of 540 lawyers, 180 are women.”
    (One out of three doesn’t sound that high — but then again, this is Biglaw. Three cheers for the soft bigotry of low expectations!)

  • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe: “Recession prompted law firm to ask incoming associates to defer their entry until the fall of 2010 and offered to place them in legal jobs at nonprofits and government agencies, paying them an honorarium of $60,000 and a $15,000 bar stipend. Forty-three incoming lawyers (56% of the class) agreed to the deferment.”
    (This is listed in the Fortune blurb as “What makes [the firm] so great.”)

In any event, it’s nice to see law firms getting shout-outs from a prominent mainstream media publication for being great places to work. Congratulations to all the deserving honorees!
100 Best Companies to Work For – 2010 [Fortune]
Six Law Firms Make Fortune’s List of Top 100 Places to Work [ABA Journal]
Fortune: Not All Law Firms are Brutal, Soul-Crushing Places [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Fortune Lists Top 100 Companies to Work For
Everyone’s a Winner at These Five Law Firms
Bingham McCutchen: Land of the Amazons?


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