Alston & Bird, Arnold & Porter, Biglaw, Media and Journalism, Rankings

Annual ‘Best Companies to Work For’ List Includes Four Law Firms

Every year, Fortune produces a list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and every year a handful of law firms make the list. And every year I wonder why some law firms made the list, while others did not, and whether Fortune actually has any idea about what they’re talking about.

We cover this list every year (click here for our posts in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007). Last year, six firms made the list. But this year only four law firms are among the top 100 companies.

Again, I can’t figure out what the two firms that dropped did wrong. But let’s congratulate the four firms that did stay on the list.

So, which firms made the cut?

The four law firms on this year’s list are (links go to Fortune’s write-up for each firm):

* Alston & Bird: ranked #13, up from #30 last year.
* Bingham McCutchen: ranked #28, down from #12 last year.
* Baker Donelson: ranked #50, up from #77 last year.
* Perkins Coie: ranked #55, up from #75 last year.

The two firms that dropped off are Arnold & Porter and Orrick.

In addition to the top companies list, Fortune compiles a bunch of other lists that look at salary and other factors. But there was one list that no law firm cracked, as noted by the ABA Journal:

None of the law firms made Fortune’s lists for best work-life balance, lowest rates for on-site child care, or top percentage of telecommuters.

Thoughts? Is there any law firm that really deserves to be recognized as one of the best companies to work for, but is consistently overlooked?

100 Best Companies to Work For [Fortune]
Four Law Firms Make Fortune’s List of 100 Best Places to Work [ABA Journal]

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45 Responses to “Annual ‘Best Companies to Work For’ List Includes Four Law Firms”

  1. Badbrains2 says:

    Gilbert LLP in DC. Free Starbucks, soda. Lounge with x-box and flat screens. Summer – always get the leave at 3 email and Scott G. will come around and make sure attorneys also leave. Come and go as you please as long as you are professional about it and still get work done.

  2. Badbrains2 says:

    Gilbert LLP in DC. Free Starbucks, soda. Lounge with x-box and flat screens. Summer – always get the leave at 3 email and Scott G. will come around and make sure attorneys also leave. Come and go as you please as long as you are professional about it and still get work done.

  3. DocAlyeska says:

    Best company to work for hands-down: your own.

    Amirite, Lat, or amirite?

  4. Blahbity says:

    Thoughts? Is there any law firm that really deserves to be recognized as one of the best companies to work for but is consistently overlooked?

    Really? Is there any firm that deserves to be there at all?

  5. JHow says:

    A&B is #13 because they offer onsite childcare? Really?

  6. JHow says:

    A&B is #13 because they offer onsite childcare? Really?

  7. DocAlyeska says:

    Alston? Bingham?

    This list is such total BS. I saw those two names and immediately realized that whoever compiled this “information” is simply a blithering idiot.

  8. Juan says:

    Uncle Ralph won’t be happy…

  9. pwned DLA associate says:

    DLA Piper for their generosity and decision-making in difficult times.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “None of the law firms made Fortune’s lists for best work-life balance, lowest rates for on-site child care, or top percentage of telecommuters.”

    A number of law firms made these lists in the edition of 100 Best Companies to Work For that was published by Mad Magazine.

  11. DocAlyeska says:

    Propr to new advertiser Kumon Learning Systems. In addition to Kumon Math and Kumon Reading, Kumon should be rolling out their new product for 5-8 year olds soon: Kumon Law.

    Be the first parent on your block with a kid admitted to the bar by fourth grade.

  12. Guest says:

    Where is Latham?

  13. DocAlyeska says:

    And yes, Kumon Law, will be ABA-accredited.

  14. JIM says:

    I say fat you say Mystal.

  15. Hu Jintao says:

    FoxConn didn’t make the list this year?

  16. JohnY says:

    I don’t know about law firms but many law schools which are realistically companies seem pretty nice to work for.

  17. Guest says:

    I totally agree. While individual mileage may vary, law firms are not great places of employment. Of course, it comes with the territory. Being a lawyer in private and/or corporate practice is a not a 9 to 5 job.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Obviously, they’ll supervise and take care of your mid 20s daughter, even if sometimes she has a bit to much to drink and starts throwing coats and business cards around.

  19. Anonymous says:

    What MWE Worry?

  20. guest says:

    Please bear in mind that candidates for the list are self selected. Only 311 companies tried out for the list this year. Maybe companies/firms that dropped off this year simply didn’t think that potentially making the list was worth the time and effort to go through the process?

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2011/faq/index.html

  21. 80s Guy says:

    Man this decade is pathetic. No law firm should aim to be one of the “best companies to work for.” Law firm culture should encourage—nay, demand—that associates bang out deal docs until their eyes start bleeding. If associates want to cope, they can do what we all did back in the day—drink scotch and consume copious amounts of cocaine.

    For realz, are we talking about law firms or fucking daycare centers? We need to get back to basics.

  22. Bonus is good says:

    You mean the firm that just spanked the Cravath bonus numbers?

  23. JHow says:

    That’s good, but I thought you were going to say they keep your mid 20s daughter onsite so you can go lay the paternal wood when you feel like it. I’ve heard some attorneys would respond well to such a benefit.

  24. Edward Penishands says:

    I can’t believe Above The Law or their parent company didn’t make this list…I thought working there was better than playing SS for the Yankees

  25. df says:

    Thanks for the info. Hmm, so it’s the top 100 of 311 self-selected companies? Yes, that’s really meaningful.

    Also – and I haven’t read the methodology info beyond what you posted – many law firms can be surprisingly great places to work (unless you’re laid-off) for non-lawyer staff, in terms of perks and benefits especially.

    I can think of one local law firm that I think has an average duration of staff employment of well over 10 years, and they seem to like working there, because they treat their staff very well in terms of pay and benefits.

  26. Blah says:

    Walrus & Gay create a hostile work environment.

  27. Kashmeout says:

    Fortune is a shitty publication that hires worthless writers. The NY Times is suitable for lining birdcages, and Forbes is suitable for for starting the kindling in your fireplace.

  28. DavidsLats says:

    That’s awesome. I tip my hat to you, Mr. Blah.

  29. The Resistance says:

    The only thing this tells you is that honest associates were not polled. No AmLaw 100 firm is a good place to work for non-partner attorneys by any sane standard.

  30. HuddledMasses says:

    5.5 billion people worldwide would disagree with that statement and would kill to have a Biglaw job.

  31. Anonymous says:

    So just booze and coke for you back in the 80s huh? No closeted homosexuality? Someone obviously did not study at the nation’s number one law school.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard thinks have really hit the skids since their Kash flow dropped off.

  33. Guest says:

    Details?

  34. Guest says:

    “Again, I can’t figure out what the two firms that dropped did wrong.”

    Orrick moved to a “merit-based” compensation system.

  35. The Resistance says:

    You mean the folks who are comparing it to starvation instead of comparing it to other jobs like the survey is supposed to? Brilliant.

  36. Bonus is good says:

    I have been waiting all morning for ATL to post something, but let me say that I am class of 2007 and my bonus is around $24K, which is only slightly above the average for my year.

  37. Bonus is good says:

    I have been waiting all morning for ATL to post something, but let me say that I am class of 2007 and my bonus is around $24K, which is only slightly above the average for my year.

  38. Guest says:

    Alston?? They fired people indiscriminately once the economy hit a downward spiral and the hours expectations are as high as anywhere.

  39. Guest says:

    They give all staff a “celebration day” off each time A&B makes the list – that’s why they all give A&B the top possible marks, nothing to do with quality of life.

  40. Guest says:

    I wanted to slit my wrists every day that I had to go in to work at Bingham. Every Sunday afternoon I would contemplate walking in front of moving traffic in order to return to the office the following morning. Perhaps Fortune forgot to ask the crucial question: would you slaughter the last unicorn on earth, waterboard a litter of adorable baby kittens, and listen to an hour of Palin’s worst speech gaffes, if it meant that you could avoid trudging into the Bingham office the next day?

  41. Betty Boop says:

    That’s patently false. For staff, it simply is a great place to work and the ranking reflects that.

    • Biker Dude says:

      What are you, some kinda comedian? Wake up and smell the Kool-Aid served at A&B. Most of the few remaining “celebratory” staff could give a sht less about the silly day care center (which BTW is the #1 reason A&Tird even makes the list); they’re all cowering under their shared printers, just glad to have their little J-O-Bs. Don’t kid yourself, BigLaw pays BigBucks to make this MEANINGLESS list, and if enough people are fired (I mean, retire), every year is a cinch. Ya savvy?

  42. birdman says:

    I’m from ATL, so the best perk I’ve enjoyed at the Bird is booking the New York apartment on Park Ave. for the weekend Flying up from Hartsfield into JFK and taking the car straight to the Firm apartment is pretty sweet, especially when you’re taking a date for the weekend. It really was my sweetest taste of the Biglaw lifestyle. For QOL, you can’t beat AB… sophisticated work, a lot of respect down south, a lot of client contact. On top of that, everyone is really nice, and I like how its generally more casual… its not all suits like when I visit NY firms for closings.

    • Dick Tracey says:

      Which member of the Partner Committee was your date for the weekend? Since partners can well afford their own NYC apts., you (a measly little associate) must have kissed a lot of assses or blown somebody to get your “ain’t nothn free” trip.

  43. PH Guest says:

    PH-NY has it all! Hostile work environment, police state management, work-your-life away philosophy, etc. And if you’re a 2nd year, you just got thrown under the bus to make room for the 1st years.

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