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10 Reasons New York Law Firms Are the Best and Produce the Best
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top NY law firms

Summary: New York law firms do not abide by the same standards as law firms throughout the country. They expect the best, the most prestigious, and top talent.

New York law firms possess power that cannot be found in any other place. These firms and their attorneys receive high respect from other firms, attorneys, legal clients, and the market. In Harrison Barnes’s article “Top 10 Reasons Attorneys Trained in Major New York City Law Firms Command the Most Respect from the Market” he explains why this is the case.


If an attorney wants to learn to be the best in their profession, there is no better place to learn than from a New York law firm. Here are the 10 reasons why:

  1. New York law firms have high overheads but charge large amounts to make up for  since they have large clients. In order to keep the type of clients that will pay the big fees, the law firms provide the highest salaries for the associates in order to get the best; making the competition for the positions fierce. The clients expect the best attorneys to be working on their cases, thus it is assumed that attorneys at big New York firms are the best.
  2. New York law firms are competitive places so attorneys know they have to be on the top of their game to keep their job. Money is a powerful motivator of producing high quality work.
  3. New York law firms allow attorneys to develop expertise in specific practice areas. They get to work with top clients on specialized cases.
  4. It is assumed that attorneys coming from top New York law firms know how to work extremely hard and find work to do. In order to bill as many hours as possible, attorneys have to be able to find work to do. They can’t just sit back and expect work to fall in their laps.
  5. It is assumed that attorneys coming from top New York law firms give their 100 percent to the job, not letting anything affect their focus. Things such as working from home and having a social life are far less accepted in New York.
  6. It is assumed that attorneys that last for at least five years in a major New York law firm are good attorneys. Most attorneys don’t make it past a couple years in New York due to the stress of the job, hours, criticism, competition, etc.
  7. It is assumed that attorneys that come from New York law firms are extremely motivated. Getting a position with a New York law firm takes determination because of the competition and demands of the job.
  8. It is assumed that attorneys from New York law firms are “more professional.” Many law firms across the country have adopted more casual ways but New York keeps things strictly professional regarding dress and attitude.
  9. New York law firms don’t just hire anyone. They know what kinds of associates they are looking for and where to find them – prestigious law schools. New York law firms have too much money on the line to risk hiring the wrong attorneys.
  10. Attorneys from New York law firms take note of status. They are concerned about what other attorneys think of them and their abilities, wanting to be the best. Prestige is very important to those in New York firms.

Why might attorneys from New York firms be bad cultural fits for firms in other places across the country, like the West Coast? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about attorneys at top law firms, read these articles:

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