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Cravath Named Most Prestigious Law Firm by Vault
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Photo courtesy of Law Sarasota.

Summary: Vault Law 100 has released a list of the most prestigious law firms in the country. 

Vault Law 100 has released its ranking of the most prestigious law firms; and Cravath, Swaine & Moore took the top spot for the third year in a row. The company surveyed thousands of associates about the reputation of various law firms, and Vault discovered that Cravath was the industry “gold standard.”

  
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“With a steadily increasing lead over the past three years, Cravath has established itself as the nation’s top law firm,” said Matt Moody, Vault’s Senior Law Editor. “Cravath is the market leader in compensation, with associates across the industry measuring their pay against ‘the Cravath Scale,’ and the firm has been integral in shaping the legal industry for centuries, so it is unsurprising that associates view it as the best.”

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz took the second spot on Vault’s list, followed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

In fourth place was Sullivan & Cromwell, and fifth place was taken by Latham & Watkins who has made it in the top five of the list for ten years.

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“Latham has proven that the doors don’t close on prestige,” said Moody. “With its global reach and sophisticated client base, Latham has long been a leader in the legal industry, which is clearly demonstrated by its near decade-long march into the Top Five.”

Vault interviewed 20,000 law firm associates, according to the company press release. The respondents were asked to rate law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 regarding prestige. Respondents were not allowed to rate their own firms, and they were asked to rank 26 practice areas, including Commercial Litigation, and to rank 14 regions such as Southern California and Chicago.



The Top 10 Most Prestigious Law Firms based on Vault’s Annual Associate Survey for 2019:

  1. Cravath, Swaine & Moore
  2. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  3. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  4. Sullivan & Cromwell
  5. Latham & Watkins
  6. Davis Polk & Wardwell
  7. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
  8. Kirkland & Ellis
  9. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  10. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

The rankings showed a rise in the prestige of Washington, DC-based law firms, which include Williams & Connolly (No. 17), WilmerHale (No. 20), and Dentons (No. 60).  Moody said this is more than likely because of the current political climate.

Southern firms also moved up, as well as other non-New York-based law firms. Vault stated that of the firms that dropped in rank on this year’s list, many of them were in New York.

“This movement, combined with the DC firms’ upward shifts, suggests that associates are increasingly valuing practice areas that are dominant outside of New York, such as tech, government, and energy,” said Moody.

What do you think of Vault’s list? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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