Clarence Darrow was a pretty good litigator.

Whether you are betting the entire company or see winning as only a matter of pride, here are four firms that clients turn to for the best representation in litigation. Prestige and great work experience aside, working at any of these firms will not be a cake walk. Check out how these litigation behemoths fared in the Career Center Associate Survey in case you don’t want to end up working at a firm with unholy advocates or take an offer from the firm you should refuse.

So let’s look at the fabulous four, shall we?

  • This litigation powerhouse, which Career Center readers rank #6 among firms that they would most want to work for, operates as a true meritocracy.  Associates are expected to find their own work and must take the initiative to develop relationships with the partners.  Becoming an excellent litigator here requires a lot of hours and several days of “boot camp”; however, the firm is known for doubling the market rate come bonus time, and associates really do appreciate working at a firm where they control their own destiny.
  • Don’t let the 1,600 minimum billable hour threshold fool you about what’s expected at this prestigious firm – associates typically bill 2,400 to 2,600 hours.  This firm is lauded for its strategic aggressiveness both in and outside of the courtroom and is the #4 most sought after law firm according to Career Center readers.  Achieving litigation dominance does require a lot of hours, but this firm rewards its associates with top-of-the-market compensation, benefits, and job security.
  • Eccentric is probably the best way to describe the partners at this litigation boutique where the associates are always expected to check their emails (with or without typos). But when you work at a firm that takes more cases to trial than any other law firm in the country, email vigilance should be expected.  While associates here appreciate actual courtroom work, they are frustrated with the lack of formal training in their early years at the firm, and visitors to the Career Center only rank this firm as the 73rd most admired law firm.  On the other hand, its training tactics appear to be working, with many clients hiring this firm on the eve at trial.
  • While only time will tell if this firm can ever shake off the stigma from its massive layoffs, its clients praise the litigation department’s ability to out-fight its opponents with its breadth and depth of experience across all of the firm’s practice areas.  Associates here will “float” for two years in various practice groups and pick up better work assignments once they prove themselves to the partners.  Despite the layoff, Career Center readers still ranked this firm the #5 law firm they would like to work for.

For more information on any of the top law firms, please visit the Career Center.