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.
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