The world of large law firms isn’t all about prestige and pay. Although the Vault 100 prestige rankings and the Am Law 100 profit-per-partner rankings are closely watched, there are other ranking schemes out there — and some of these frameworks adopt a kinder, gentler outlook on Biglaw.
For example, take the American Lawyer’s A-List. Although the A-List rankings take law firm financial performance into account, they also factor in diversity, pro bono work, and associate satisfaction.
Associate satisfaction: that’s the driving force behind another important set of rankings, Vault’s just-released “Best Law Firms to Work For” list. The notion of “quality of life” at a law firm might seem laughable to some — but let’s face it, some firms are generally better workplaces than others. (Of course, your mileage may vary: some lawyers have great experiences at firms known for being awful, and some lawyers have awful experiences at firms known for being great.)
Let’s check out the Vault top ten, shall we?
Here are the top ten from Vault’s 2012 Best Firms to Work For:
1. Williams & Connolly
2. Ropes & Gray
3. Weil, Gotshal & Manges
4. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo
5. Foley Hoag
6. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
7. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
8. Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler
9. Dewey & LeBoeuf
10. Fish & Richardson
The appearance of these names on such a list isn’t shocking; most of these firms are well-regarded as workplaces. (Disclosure: Foley Hoag does some legal work for us here at Breaking Media.)
Don’t see your firm in the top ten? Perhaps it’s in the top 20, which you can check out here (along with the specific scores and rankings from last year). To learn more about the methodology, see this post.
Congratulations to top firm Williams & Connolly, a litigation powerhouse with a deserved reputation for excellence, and all of the other firms on the Best Law Firms to Work For list. Working in Biglaw isn’t like getting a hot-stone massage — but it doesn’t have to be like walking on coals, and these firms provide proof of that.
Announcing Vault’s 2012 Quality of Life Rankings [Vault’s Law Blog]
Law Firm Rankings 2012: The 20 Best Law Firms to Work For [Vault]
Earlier: The 2011 Am Law A-List