Vault rankings

Vault logo law firm rankings career guides.jpgThe official Vault law firm rankings for 2010 are out today. This list will define law firm prestige for the year to come. Many law students, associates, and partners — especially partners involved in the recruiting process — care greatly about these influential rankings.
Here are the top five most prestigious law firms, according to Vault. This year’s top five is substantially similar to last year’s:
2010 Vault final top5.jpg
Skadden has flipped-flopped with Sullivan & Cromwell. Otherwise the top five remain unchanged from last year.
After the jump, the rest of the brand new Vault top ten, and a note from Vault’s managing editor about what’s new in this year’s rankings.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Official New Vault Rankings”

Vault logo law firm rankings career guides.jpgThe new Vault law firm rankings, for 2010, are set to be released later this week. But earlier today, readers sent us this link, which takes you to a page on the Vault website with incomplete prestige rankings for a little over 60 law firms.
We reached out to Brian Dalton, managing editor of Vault, who informed us that these rankings are NOT legit. From Dalton:

These are not the correct rankings. There was a technical glitch on our end and some incorrect rankings have appeared on the site. We will publish the new rankings soon.

And when they do, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Still, even if these rankings are wrong, it’s always fun to gawk. While we wait for the official list to be produced, here are the top five firms on the apocryphal list (note the absence of Cravath):
Vault 2010 top5.JPG
After the jump, more faux rankings.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pregaming the Vault Rankings: Incorrect Rankings Appear on Vault Website”

Vault logo law firm rankings career guides.jpgThe latest edition of the highly influential Vault law firm rankings will be coming out any day now. Participating firms have been notified in advance of how they fared this year — and some of them are already tooting their own horns.
For example, Ropes & Gray sent around an internal email touting its being named Vault’s #1 Best Firm to Work For. Congratulations, Ropes!
Congratulations are also in order for Bingham McCutchen. From the firm’s press release:

Bingham’s ranking jumped significantly in diversity and overall scores in the 2010 Vault ratings, the firm’s best year to date.

In the overall Best Firms to Work For category, Bingham broke into the Top 10 at No. 6 in the 2010 rankings…. In the 2010 Prestige category, which ranks firms based on the evaluations of associates from other law firms, Bingham rose seven slots to No. 56.

Bingham’s rank also rose in every category related to diversity in the 2010 Vault rankings. The firm placed in the Top 20 in the Diversity Women category at No. 15. It also rose from No. 16 to No. 11 in the Diversity Gay & Lesbian category, and climbed from No. 16 to No. 12 in the Overall Diversity category.

Do you know how your firm fared in the soon-to-be-released Vault rankings? Do you have an opinion on how it should have done?
Feel free to discuss, in the comments. Of course, when the new Vault rankings are officially released, we will bring you more coverage. Thanks.

New York City Bar logo.jpgWe regularly receive tips about educational or charitable events that might interest our readers. Because we don’t have the ability to give shout-outs to all, and to ensure equal treatment, we direct everyone with events of a non-commercial nature to mention them in our Community section (which, by the way, is overflowing with openings for deferred associates right now).
(The Community section is for non-profit events or opportunities. If what you’re trying to promote is commercial in nature, please advertise. Commercial postings will be pulled from the Community.)
Our rule against event promotion admits of exceptions. We will mention events featuring significant participation by Above the Law editors — like this one, taking place this coming Tuesday, July 16:

Breaking Back into a Large Law Firm: How to Make Your Way Back into a Top Law Firm

Moderator: BRIAN DALTON, Managing Editor, and Editor Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms

Speakers: DAVID LAT, Founding Editor,; T.J. DUANE, Principal, Lateral Link; HELEN LONG, Director Legal Recruiting at Ropes & Gray LLP; JOHN J. CANNON III, Hiring Partner, Shearman & Sterling LLP.

The panel is part of an a day-long conference, co-sponsored by the New York City Bar and Vault, with the following mission:

Affected by the current financial crisis, many lawyers are finding themselves looking for employment. This program is designed to assist job-seeking attorneys in learning how best to market themselves whether they are looking to go to a firm, start their own practice or are considering an alternative legal career.

For details and registration, click here. Hope to see you there!
Getting Back in the Game: How to Restart Your Career in a Down Economy [The Association of the Bar of the City of New York]

Van%20Winkle%20Law%20Firm%20Lawyer%20Ken.jpgWachtell may be the most prestigious firm out there (according to Vault), but it has the industry’s worst Web site, as rated by Jonathan Thrope of the American Lawyer. We’re not completely sure we trust his judgment though, since he was “sucked in” by Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice’s animated dog. We waited for it to do something cool, but it just stretched and yawned.
According to Thrope, law firms are getting more serious about online marketing and using Web sites to create a distinctive brand. In general, law firm sites strike us as fairly dry. And boring. There are a few exceptions, like the Van Winkle Law Firm’s split personality bio page. North Carolina-based Van Winkle adds a personal touch to its site with dual bios (and photos) for many of its attorneys: one with professional highlights, and another focused on hobbies and life outside of work.
Other firms experiment with offbeat advertising, but seem to be using it to recruit attorneys, not clients. Like Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle’s creation of a Facebook page, and Stoel Rives’ free-style running promo on YouTube.
Of the assortment of staid sites in the AmLaw 100, five made Thrope’s cut for the worst. Check them out after the jump.

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comparing.jpgWe’re entering the second half of the Vault 100. This is part of a series of open threads to discuss the firms considered to be the profession’s most prestigious. Because we know you love prestige. And the opportunity for “TTT” accusations. [FN1]
Here’s the next bunch of firms, with prestige scores in parentheses:

51. Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (5.851)
52. Dechert LLP (5.838)
53. Vinson & Elkins LLP (5.822)
54. Goodwin Procter LLP (5.815)
55. Jenner & Block LLP (5.778)
56. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (5.728)
57. Alston & Bird LLP (5.715)
58. Fish & Richardson P.C. (5.706)
59. Cooley Godward LLP (5.692)
60. Irell & Manella LLP (5.635)

doughboy.jpgVault notes that attorneys at Pillsbury are treated to “freshly baked cookies.” But they also have to put up with being referred to as “Pillsburians” by Vault.
Compare, contrast, discuss… and if you’re at Pillsbury, have a chocolate chip cookie for us.
Earlier: Vault 100 Open Threads – 2009
[FN1] We periodically get e-mails asking for the definition of “TTT,” which appears so often in comment threads. As the uninitiated have surely gathered, it’s a derogatory term. Likely originating on AutoAdmit, it stands for “third tier toilet.” For more, see Urban Dictionary.

comparing.jpgIn honor of the new Vault rankings, we’re doing a series of open threads on the 100 most prominent law firms. We invite you to compare and contrast the firms in the comments. In the last open thread on Vault firms 6-10, there was an animated discussion about litigation at Cleary and which Kirkland office is best to work for.
Moving on down the Vault 100 list, here’s the next bunch up for discussion, with prestige scores in parentheses:

11. Covington & Burling LLP (7.428)
12. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (7.417)
13. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (7.290)
14. Williams & Connolly LLP (7.238)
15. Sidley Austin LLP (7.201)

smarties.jpgThe oddest language in the “notable perks” in this bunch is at Williams & Connolly: “Fancy bunch of smarties.” Well-dressed intelligent lawyers, or a big basket of the tart candy?
Please discuss the work, perks, and lifestyle at these firms in the comments. More threads to come.
Earlier: Vault 100 Open Threads- 2009

Vault logo law firm rankings career guides.jpgLast week, we gave you a sneak preview of Vault’s 2009 law firm rankings: the top 50 firms ranked by prestige, and the top 20 firms ranked by quality of life.
Now the complete 2009 rankings are available. In addition to the prestige and “best to work for” rankings, they include the diversity and partner prestige rankings.
You can access all the rankings through this gateway page, or by clicking on the links below. Enjoy!
Top 100 Law Firms: 2009 Rankings (portal page) [Vault]
Top 100 Law Firm Prestige rankings [Vault]
The Best 20 Law Firms to Work For [Vault]
The Best 20 Law Firms for Diversity [Vault]
Partner Prestige Rankings [Vault]
Earlier: ATL Exclusive: A Sneak Peek at the 2009 Vault Rankings! (Part 1 of 2)
ATL Exclusive: A Sneak Peek at the 2009 Vault Rankings! (Part 1 of 2)

Vault logo law firm rankings career guides.jpgThis morning we brought you a special sneak preview of the 2009 Vault law firm rankings (to be released in full on Tuesday, August 12, over at the Vault website). We passed along two compilations: (1) firms ranked 26-50 by prestige, and (2) firms 11-20 on the “best to work for” list.
Now, as promised, we bring you the balance of the rankings: firms 1-50 by prestige, and all 20 of the “best to work for” firms.
Check out the lists, plus comment from Vault law editor Brian Dalton, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Exclusive: A Sneak Peek at the 2009 Vault Rankings!
(Part 2 of 2)”

Vault logo law firm rankings career guides.jpgReaders, we bring you some very exciting news. Just in time for fall recruiting, the folks over at Vault are releasing their highly influential — indeed, authoritative — law firm rankings. The rankings, along with informative and interesting write-ups of the ranked firms, will be available in Vault’s law guides. (Vault’s Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms is basically a Biglaw job seeker’s Bible.)
The official release date for the 2009 rankings is this coming Tuesday, August 12. But the Vault crew kindly offered Above the Law an exclusive preview of the new list, consisting of the top 50 firms for prestige and the 20 firms rated as “Best to Work For.” Obviously we wet ourselves just a little bit enthusiastically accepted Vault’s offer of an early look.
Check out the first half of the ATL preview — firms ranked 26-50 by prestige, and 11-20 on the “best to work for” list — along with explanatory commentary from Vault law editor Brian Dalton, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Exclusive: A Sneak Peek at the 2009 Vault Rankings!
(Part 1 of 2)”

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