Vault's Top Law Firms By Practice Area and Region
Published: Jul 08, 2015
With on-campus interviews fast approaching, law students are inundated with decisions. How to sort through the long list of law firms that hire summer associates and figure out where to submit your resume? Look no further. Following the release of the Top 100 law firm list earlier this month, today Vault released its practice area and regional law firm rankings for 2016.
While the Vault Law 100 ranks firms based on overall nationwide prestige, the rankings released today inform job-seekers about the best firms within each specialty and in different locations throughout the U.S. Like the Vault Law 100, the practice area and regional rankings are based on the opinions of associates who took our annual Law Firm Associate Survey. More than 17,000 associates at 149 firms participated this year.
Stay tuned for more rankings. Next week, Vault will release its Quality of Life Rankings, determining which firms provide the best overall working experience, in categories ranging from firm culture and compensation to training and career outlook. Vault will also release its Best Summer Programs list next week, followed by its Best Law Firms for Diversity rankings the week of July 20th.
To view each ranking as they are released, click here.
Practice Area Rankings:
In our survey, associates are asked to vote for up to three firms they consider strongest in their own practice area, but they are not permitted to vote for their own firm. For example, associates who identify themselves as corporate attorneys are allowed only to vote in corporate-related categories (e.g., M&A, financial services and securities). Our rankings indicate the top firms in each area (those that received the highest percentage of votes).
Here is a look at the leaders of the 2016 Practice Area Rankings. Products Liability, Bankruptcy and Clean Tech/Renewable Energy all have new leaders, but otherwise, all firms held on to their No. 1 rankings from last year. For a full list of the Best Law Firms in Each Practice Area, click here.
General Commercial Litigation: Quinn Emanuel
Appellate Litigation: Gibson Dunn
Products Liability: Quinn Emanuel (last year: Skadden)
Securities Litigation: Skadden
White Collar Defense & Internal Investigations: Williams & Connolly
Litigation Boutiques: Susman Godfrey
General Corporate Practice: Wachtell Lipton
Banking & Financial Services: Davis Polk
M&A: Wachtell Lipton
Private Equity: Kirkland & Ellis
Project Finance: Skadden
Securities: Davis Polk
Antitrust: Cleary Gottlieb
Bankruptcy: Kirkland & Ellis (last year: Weil Gotshal)
Clean Tech/Renewable Energy: Latham & Watkins (last year: Morrison & Foerster)
Energy, Oil and Gas: Vinson & Elkins
Intellectual Property: Fish & Richardson
IP Boutiques: Knobbe Martens
Labor and Employment: Littler Mendelson
Real Estate: Fried Frank
Technology: Fish & Richardson
For many people looking into a law career, it’s all about location. Each regional ranking is based on scores from associates who actually work in that region. For example, an associate from the San Francisco office of a national firm was only allowed to vote in the Northern California category. Associates were asked to rate firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how prestigious they consider that firm in their region.
Here is a look at the leaders of the 2016 Regional Rankings, which for the most part also dominated their respective regions in the 2015 rankings. But there were upsets in two parts of the country: Texas, where Baker Botts was voted No. 1 after briefly ceding that title to Vinson & Elkins last year; and Washington, DC, where Covington & Burling unseated Williams & Connolly. For a full list of the Best Law Firms in U.S. Region, click here.
Atlanta: King & Spalding
Boston: Ropes & Gray
Chicago: Kirkland & Ellis
Miami: White & Case
Midwest: Jones Day
New York: Wachtell Lipton
Northern California: Morrison & Foerster
Southern California: Gibson Dunn
Pacific Northwest: Perkins Coie
Texas: Baker Botts (last year: Vinson & Elkins)
Washington, DC: Covington & Burling (last year: Williams & Connolly)
Congratulations to all the winners, and stay tuned for more rankings later this month based on Quality of Life, Summer Programs and Diversity!
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