The Top Five Health Care Law Firms

Published: May 06, 2024

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Health law is an incredibly diverse area of practice which does not focus on a singular type of legal work. Attorneys in this field focus on the health industry in general, but the types of work available vary widely. Some lawyers counsel health care entities on a range of transactional and regulatory matters, including mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. Others handle any litigation-related matters that arise for their health care industry clients. Some lawyers focus on compliance issues, ensuring clients are adhering to regulations and laws and conducting internal investigations for clients, while others work on the government side, enforcing regulations. This area is an exciting one because it is constantly evolving and changing, especially when it comes to digital health. Lawyers focusing on digital health may work on IP-related matters, privacy and data security, regulatory issues, policy research, and more. On the nonprofit side, lawyers may work for an organization that promotes public health, access to health care, advocacy for a specific health issue, etc. Clients in the health law arena range from hospitals and medical centers to insurance companies and pharmaceutical entities to laboratories and private equity funds—plus many more.

The five top-ranked Health Care law firms based on Vault’s 2024 Health Care prestige rankings are McDermottEpstein Becker; Ropes & Gray; Hogan Lovells; and King & Spalding. Below are a few relevant highlights about each of these firms.

McDermott Will & Emery

Ranked at #1 in Vault’s 2024 Health Care prestige rankings, McDermott sits at #46 in the overall Vault Law 100 and is absolutely dominant in our Best Law Firms to Work For rankings, sitting in the top ten of all but one of our categories, with #1 rankings in Satisfaction and Transparency and claiming the #3 overall spot. They are also in the top ten of all of our Law Firm Diversity rankings, including the #6 overall spot. The firm employs over 1,000 attorneys out of 13 U.S. and eight international offices, including their Chicago headquarters. Associates describe the culture as "overwhelmingly positive," and while the firm requires 2,000 hours from associates to be bonus-eligible, 200 of those hours can come from pro bono, DEI, or other non-billable time. Partnership odds are good for those willing to put in the work, and the path to partnership is transparent; exit opportunities are also very strong, with the firm supportive of those who leave as it develops and maintains a robust alumni network.

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.

Epstein Becker operates 15 U.S. offices and employs over 250 attorneys. In addition to being the #2 Health Care law firm, they are the #13 firm for Labor & Employment law. With founding offices in DC and New York, they have grown into a national concern with practices in corporate and securities, construction law, employee benefits, life sciences, immigration law, and litigation. In the health care space, the firm has represented hospitals, managed care organizations, and other health care clients in everything from M&A to governance and compliance issues.

Ropes & Gray

Top-ranked for Boston prestige and #19 in the 2024 Vault Law 100, Ropes & Gray operates seven U.S. and five international offices, including its Boston headquarters.  Ropes additionally ranks in fourteen of Vault’s practice area prestige rankings, including #3 in Health Care and #7 in Private Equity. The firm also ranks in all five of our diversity rankings categories, coming it at #9 for Overall Diversity. Ropes does well on the quality of life side too, ranking in fourteen of Vault’s Best Law Firms to Work For categories, including #14 overall. The firm is big, with over 1,500 attorneys, and associates here describe the culture as sociable and supportive, with a low (for BigLaw) billable hour requirement of 1,900 hours. Partnership here is viable but difficult to obtain, and non-partner roles and exit opportunities are strong.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells sits at #4 in our Health Care prestige rankings, and is also #28 in the overall Vault Law 100. Apart from their Health Care practice, they are also #4 in Privacy & Data Security. The firm employs over 2,500 attorneys out of 15 U.S. and 31 international offices. Associates describe the culture as professional but warm. The firm has an achievable billable hour requirement of 2,000, of which 150 can be pro bono and 50 can be DEI activities. Partnership is achievable and transparent, and viable long-term counsel roles are and strong exit opportunities all exist as well.

King & Spalding LLP

Ranked at #5 in Vault’s 2024 Heatlh Care prestige rankings, King & Spalding is #39 in the overall Vault Law 100, the #5 International, and the best law firm in Atlanta. They employ over 1,000 attorneys out of 13 U.S. and 10 international offices. Associates describe the culture as warm and collaborative, and the firm has a standard billable hour requirement of 1,950. Partnership is realistic with a transparent but difficult path, and exit opportunities are very strong.


Health care law is significantly more specialized and niche than many of the practice areas we publish rankings for, but if you have prior ties to the industry or know that it's what you want to work in, you have a lot of options. If you are interested in doing the work at a bigger firm with a wider variety of practice areas, you can't go wrong with Hogan Lovells or King & Spalding. If you want to maximize your quality of life, McDermott's top performance in nearly all of those rankings should be significant to you. If you prefer a (relatively) smaller firm with a more focused practice, give Epstein Becker a look. For these and all of the other firms with ranked Health Care practices, we encourage you to check out their Vault Law profiles to help yourself differentiate on metrics other than prestige.

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