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Choosing a Florida Law Firm

Published: Jan 29, 2024

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The Sunshine State holds a thriving legal market across several of its cities, and prestigious work in virtually any practice area can be found here. From Tampa to Miami to Ft. Lauderdale and many others, our Florida rankings cover a huge range of cities, firms, and practices. This article compares the top five Florida-headquartered firms from the 2024 Florida regional prestige rankings. For more Florida options, you can review Vault’s Florida prestige rankings and the Vault profiles of any firms you’re interested in.

The five top-ranked Florida-based firms based on Vault’s 2024 regional prestige rankings are Holland & Knight; Greenberg Traurig; Akerman; Shutts & Bowen; and Gunster. Below are a few relevant highlights about each of these firms.

Holland & Knight

The #1 firm in Florida and #52 in the 2024 Vault Law 100, Holland & Knight operates 29 U.S. and five international offices, including its Tampa headquarters. Holland & Knight is nationally regarded for its Real Estate practice in our Practice Area rankings, landing the #10 spot in that category. The firm employs over 2,000 attorneys and associates here describe the culture as congenial and generous, with a billable hour requirement of 2,000. Partnership here is transparent and realistic, and senior non-partner roles and exit opportunities are reportedly strong as well.

Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig holds the #2 spot in Vault’s Florida prestige rankings this year and also sits at #57 in the overall Vault Law 100. Greenberg Traurig operates out of 34 U.S. and 11 international offices, employing over 2,500 attorneys. The firm has a nationally renowned Real Estate practice as well, claiming the #3 spot in our rankings for that category. Associates call the culture warm and inviting. Associates call the billable hour requirement reasonable, and particularly high billers receive above-market bonuses here. Partnership here is transparent and realistic, with strong counsel roles available as well.

Akerman

Landing at #4 in Vault’s 2024 Florida prestige rankings and cracking the Vault Law 100 in spot #100, Akerman is another full-service national powerhouse. Headquartered in Miami, they have over 750 lawyers operating from 24 U.S. offices. Having celebrated its centennial in 2020, the firm is known primarily for its middle-market transactional work, with deals in the $50 million-$500 million range, as well as for complex disputes work on the litigation side of the house.

Shutts & Bowen

Ranked at #12 in Vault’s 2024 Florida prestige rankings, Shutts & Bowen employs around 300 attorneys operating out of eight different Florida offices, including its Miami headquarters. Since its founding in 1910, the firm has grown into a full-service shop, with over 40 practice areas and a particularly strong reputation in banking & finance work, as well as for serving the Florida community with thousands of pro bono work hours per year.

Gunster

Gunster sits at #14 in our Florida prestige rankings and ranks across several of our Best Law Firms to Work For categories, including #2 in Business Outlook and #50 Overall, the latter in spite of still exclusively operating out of Florida. Gunster has over 250 attorneys in 13 offices, all of them in the Sunshine State. Like other firms on this list, Gunster has a strongly renowned real estate practice, and they also cater to virtually all of the other legal needs of the Florida business community.

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There seems to be a very strong correlation between prestige in Florida and strength in real estate law, so if you're interested in that practice area, make note of Holland & Knight & Greenberg Traurig's strong rankings in that category. If there's a particular Florida city that interests you, it's a near-certain bet that one or more of the firms listed above have offices there. You can learn more about all these firms (and many others) through Vault’s law firm profiles and the firms’ websites. Remember: Think hard about your priorities, because no one firm is best at everything.

Best of luck from all of us at Vault Law on your legal job search!

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