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The American Lawyer released its annual A-List rankings of the top 20 “most well-rounded” law firms in the United States. According to the report, law firms are ranked based on a combination of financial and cultural factors including revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, racial diversity, associate satisfaction and gender diversity among the equity partnership level. The last metric was added to A-List’s calculation in 2017 to recognize firms for supporting women and making them partners.

In a year that’s been marked by upheaval and uncertainty, there’s also plenty of continuity in the upper reaches of the A-List. For the second year in a row, Munger Tolles & Olson claimed the No.1 spot on this year’s list, while landing in the top five for a fifth time in the last five years. Ropes & Gray landed the No. 2 spot, improving across all five categories, most notably associate satisfaction. At O’Melveny & Myers, improvements in the firm’s metrics for racially diverse attorneys and women in the equity partnership fueled a four-place jump into the No. 3 position, marking the firm’s third straight year in the Top 10 and its fifth time on the list in the last five years.

Los Angeles-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips returned to this year’s list following two years off, rising seven places to No. 15, thanks to a 20.5-point improvement in the female equity partner category. Two more firms new to this year’s A-List rankings included Cravath Swaine & Moore (No.17), and Arnold & Porter (No.19). A few firms on the list made last year’s Top 20 but faced shortcomings in vital areas, forcing them off in 2020. Those four firms were Shearman & Sterling, Buckley, Milbank, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

See more highlights from the A-List rankings on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

The American Lawyer published results from its annual Midlevel Associates Survey, finding that “third-, fourth- and fifth-year associates are as happy than ever at their law firms.” The survey, conducted at 96 participating law firms, asked third-, fourth- and fifth-year associates to rate their firms on several aspects of job satisfaction, including: compensation and benefits; training and guidance; interaction with partners and other associates; interest and satisfaction level with the work; the firm’s policy on billable hours; and management’s openness about firm strategies and partnership chances. Midlevels graded their workplaces in these categories on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.

According to the report, associates in their third, fourth and fifth years gave an average composite score of 4.29 out of 5, an increase from last year’s average of 4.27. “Associate satisfaction grew in nearly every category lawyers were asked to rate. The results bode well for retention, in particular. The greatest improvement in average score was in the “expect to stay two years” category, rising to 4.18, compared with 4.12 last year. Midlevel associates are also happier on average with regard to the type of work they’re doing and the training they are getting. The average score for “interesting work” was 4.51, up from 4.47 last year, and the average for “satisfying work” was 4.39, up from 4.37. Scores for “training and guidance” and “partner relations” increased by similar margins, to 4.24 and 4.45, respectively,” (as quoted in The American Lawyer).

“Young lawyers appreciate law firms’ efforts to improve work-life balance, the report revealed. Training and mentorship also appear to be working well for firms that have made efforts to improve in those areas. But associates also cautioned their firms in some cases throughout the survey, warning that burnout is a risk and calling on leaders to continue to modernize their business models by moving away from longstanding billable hour policies,” the article reports. Of the 96 firms surveyed, the top five firms in terms of midlevel associate satisfaction in numerical order were Schulte Roth & Zabel, Paul Hastings, Drinker Biddle & Reath, O’Melveny & Myers, and Blank Rome.

See highlights from the full article on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

The American Lawyer released its annual A-List rankings of the top 20 “most well-rounded” law firms in the United States. According to the report, law firms are ranked based on a combination of financial and cultural factors including revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, racial diversity, associate satisfaction and percentage of female equity partners.

Munger Tolles ranked No. 1 on this year’s A-List. Climbing from last year’s No. 3 spot, the firm moved up due to high scores in revenue per lawyer, pro bono work, and number of female equity partners. Wilmer Cutler remained in the No.2 spot, improving in four of five categories. Slipping from 1st place last year, Ropes & Gray landed spot No. 3, declining across all categories. Washington, D.C.-based Buckley jumped nine spots to move onto this year’s A-List at No. 17, improving in three of the five categories, most notably associate satisfaction.

New firms added to this year’s A-List rankings included Hughes Hubbard & Reed (No.11), Gibson Dunn (No.13), and Buckley (No.17). A few firms on the list made last year’s Top 20 but faced short comings in vital areas, forcing them off in 2019. Those three firms included Akin Gump (No. 23), Patterson Belknap (No. 29), and Jenner & Block (No. 30).

Additionally, The American Lawyer released a list of the next 20 A-List firms (No. 21-40), The A-List Runners-Up. Washington D.C.-based Williams & Connolly jumped 35 spots to land 21st place, due to high scores in associate satisfaction, revenue per lawyer, and female equity partners. Appearing for the first time on this list, Proskauer Rose claimed 25th place, thanks to large improvements in associate satisfaction and female equity partners. Cravath Swaine & Moore jumped 16 spots to land 26th place, improving across all categories, particularly in revenue per lawyer, diversity and pro bono.

See highlights from the full article on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

The American Lawyer released its annual A-List rankings of the top 20 “most well-rounded” law firms in the United States. Firms are ranked based on a combination of factors including revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, racial diversity, associate satisfaction and percentage of female equity partners.

Ropes & Gray ranked No.1 on this year’s A-List. Climbing from last year’s number two, the firm moved up thanks to high scores in revenue per lawyer, pro bono work, and number of female equity partners. Wilmer Hale climbed two spots to claim this year’s No.2 spot with high scores in almost all categories. Slipping from 1st place last year, Munger Tolles landed spot No.3, declining in all categories, particularly in the female equity partners category. Orrick Herrington moved six spots to claim 4thplace, thanks to high scores in pro bono, associate satisfaction and female equity partners.

New firms added to this year’s A-List rankings included Morrison & Foerster (No.11), Patterson Belknap (No.17), Morgan Lewis (No.18), and Jenner & Block (No.19). A few firms on the list made last year’s Top 20 but faced shortcomings in vital areas, forcing them off in 2018. Those firms included Gibson Dunn (No.22), Hughes Hubbard & Reed (No.29), and Manatt Phelps & Phillips (No.30).

Additionally, The American Lawyer released a list of  the next 20 A-List firms (No. 21-40), The A-List Runners-Up. Washington, D.C.-based Buckley Sandler jumped 25 spots to land 26th place, due to large improvements in RPL, female equity partners, and associate satisfaction. Appearing for the first time on this list, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer claimed 31st place, thanks to an impressive score in the pro bono category. Dechert climbed 10 places to land the 34th spot on this year’s list, due to increases in its associate satisfaction and diversity scores.

See highlights from the full article on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

The American Lawyer published results from its annual Midlevel Associates Survey, finding that “associates generally continued to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs,” and report being happier with their compensation than they were a year ago.

Each year, the publication surveys third-, fourth-, and fifth-year associates on several aspects of job satisfaction, including compensation and benefits, training and guidance, interaction with partners and other associates, the interest and satisfaction level of the work, the firm’s policy on billable hours, and management’s openness about firm strategies and partnership chances. The participating firms were ranked on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score possible.

According to the report, “the greatest increase in associate satisfaction came in the area of benefits and compensation,” with respondents giving firms an average score of 4.29, up from an average of 4.17 last year. Of the 102 firms surveyed, the top five firms in terms of midlevel associate satisfaction in numerical order were Cozen O’Connor, O’Melveny & Myers, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Paul Hastings and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

See highlights of the full report and article on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

The American Lawyer released its 15th annual A-List rankings of the top 20 “most well-rounded” law firms in the United States. Firms are ranked based on a combination of factors including revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, racial diversity, associate satisfaction and percentage of female equity partners.

Munger Tolles ranked No. 1 on this year’s A-List. Climbing from last year’s number two, the firm moved up thanks to high scores in diversity, pro bono work, and number of female equity partners. Ropes & Gray came in second place on the A-List with high scores in almost all categories except for diversity.  Paul, Weiss jumped 23 spots to claim the No.3 spot, thanks to a strong female equity score and significant increase in associate satisfaction. Kirkland & Ellis landed spot No. 17, slipping from 8th place last year, due to a decrease in its associate satisfaction and diversity scores. Skadden Arps moved up four spots to claim 12th place, thanks to an increase in its associate satisfaction and pro bono scores.

New firms added to AmLaw’s A-List were Paul, Weiss (No.3), Sherman & Sterling (No.8), Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (No.14), Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (No. 15), Arnold & Porter (No.16), and Hughes Hubbard & Reed (No.19).

Additionally, The American Lawyer released a list of the next 20 A-List firms (No. 21-40), The A-List Runners Up. A few firms on the list made last year’s Top 20 but faced shortcomings in vital areas, forcing them off in 2017. Those firms were Morrison & Foerster (No. 22), Jenner & Block (No. 23), Sullivan & Cromwell (No. 24), Willkie Farr & Gallagher (No. 25), and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (No. 26).

See the full report and article on The American Lawyer.

Please contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

The American Lawyer released this year’s national and regional midlevel firm rankings, based on a satisfaction survey of associate responses. The survey analyzes key workplace elements such as: compensation and benefits package, training and support, relations with partners and associates, satisfaction level of the work, billable hours’ policy, and management’s openness about strategies and partnership opportunities. The participating firms were ranked on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score possible.

On the national scale, Paul Hastings earned first place again. From a survey of 51 respondents, the firm received the highest satisfaction score, a 4.763 out of 5. In numerical order, the succeeding firms in the top 5 are: Los Angeles’-based O’Melveny & Myer, Cozen O’Connor based in Philadelphia, internationally-operated Clifford Chance, and nationally-based Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher.

From a local perspective, the American Lawyer provides an overview of the top firms organized by major city. Of the top 18 markets, the scores are reflective of respondents only in that firm’s office in the designed city, not the firm as a whole. It comes as no surprise that national leader, Paul Hastings, is ranked No. 1 in multiple major cities, such as: Chicago, New York, Orange County, and Washington D.C. The same is true for nationally ranked No. 2 firm, O’Melveny, which is No. 1 in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In the Texas market, Dallas’ top firm is Gibson Dunn, and in Houston, the leading firm is Orrick. In California, Chicago-based Winston & Strawn landed No. 1 in the Los Angeles market, and San Diego’s leading firm is Sheppard Mullin. No. 3 nationally ranked, Cozen O’Connor, leads the Philadelphia market.

See more of the highlights from the AmLaw National and Regional Midlevel Firm Rankings on the American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

The American Lawyer released the 14th annual A-List: an analysis and ranking of the 20 top Big Law firms. The firms that made the AmLaw A-List cut are the best-of-the-best and are rated according to performance in four key areas: financial success, pro bono commitment, diversity and associate satisfaction.

AmLaw Second Hundred firm, Irell & Manella, reigns in at Number 1 this year, proving that size isn’t everything, with only 126 lawyers. The Los Angeles-based firm made an impressive leap from the bottom of the list (No. 18 in 2015), due to a significant increase in associate satisfaction and pro bono scores. Kirkland & Ellis landed spot No. 8, slipping from fifth place last year, due to a decrease in the diversity category. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took 16th place, thanks to the double-weighted revenue per lawyer category. Skadden moved up one spot, despite low associate satisfaction and decreasing diversity scores.

New firms added to the AmLaw A-List this year are: Chicago-based Jenner & Block, Covington & Burling out of Washington, D.C., and New York-based Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Those three firms forced out the following: Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Williams & Connolly, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Additionally, the American Lawyer announced a list of the next 20 A-List firms (No. 21-40), the Ones to Watch. A few firms on the list made last year’s Top 20 but faced shortcomings in vital areas, forcing them out in 2016. Hughes Hubbard & Reed, previously a Top 20 A-List firm, faced a hit in the associate satisfaction category, knocking them down to Number 21. Chicago-based Winston & Strawn performed well, up from 57th to 34th place this year, thanks to a substantial increase in associate satisfaction.

Please contact Bill Sugarman for more information.