Which law firms are the best law firms to work for? The ones that pay salaries (ideally in excess of $10,000 a year). In a still-challenging job market, law students and young lawyers will generally work for whichever law firm will have them.

But some prospective employees of Biglaw have the luxury of choosing between multiple employers. And for these privileged and talented few, things like quality of life — to the extent that one can have a quality of life, or a life at all, while toiling away at a top firm — do matter.

Last month, our friends at Vault issued their closely watched Vault 100 rankings, ordering the nation’s major law firms by perceived prestige. Now they’ve followed them up with their annual “quality of life” rankings, expressed as a list of the best law firms to work for.

Which firms made the top ten?

Here are the ten best law firms to work for, according to the 2013 Vault rankings:

As you can see, the 2013 list isn’t that different from the 2012 list — except for, well, the dropping off the list of Dewey & LeBoeuf. Perhaps one of the criteria for a great workplace is not being in bankruptcy.

Congratulations to Williams & Connolly, the elite D.C. litigation shop, and Ropes & Gray, the white-shoe Boston firm, for keeping their respective spots at #1 and #2. And congrats to all the other firms in the top 10 — including two notable newcomers, Munger Tolles and Paul Hastings.

That’s just the top 10. You can check out the complete rankings, which go all the way to 25, over here. And you can view selected survey findings, as well as details about methodology, over at the Vault Blog.

Congratulations to everyone that made the “best firms to work for” list. People thinking about working in Biglaw often fixate on the big paychecks, but these fantastic firms show that it isn’t all about the benjamins.

Which Law Firm Is the Best to Work For? [Vault's Law Blog]
Law Firm Rankings 2013: The Best Law Firms to Work For [Vault]

Earlier: Law Firm Offers Compensation of $10,000 a Year to Lawyers
2013 Vault Law Firm Rankings: Prestige Can’t Buy You Money
The Best Law Firms To Work For (2012)


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