Law Firms

Four Law Firms Make Fortune’s List of 100 Best Places to Work


Four law firms have made Fortune’s list of the 100 top companies to work for, and they dominate the publication’s “big pay” list for salaried employees.

The firms that made this year’s list are Alston & Bird, Bingham McCutchen, Baker Donelson and Perkins Coie.

On a separate list of “big pay,” Bingham McCutchen came in second, Alston & Bird third, Perkins Coie fourth, and Baker Donelson 22nd. The ranking is based on average associate pay ranging from about $220,000 at Bingham to about $119,000 at Baker Donelson.

Baker Donelson is the only law firm on a different list of 15 companies that never had a layoff, ever, according to a press release.

Here are the law firms’ overall rankings and Fortune’s descriptions of why they are so great:

No. 13 is Alston & Bird, previously ranked 30th. “What makes it so great? For a decade the law firm has had its own child-care campus a block away from its offices. The facility was expanded this year and now provides day care to 110 children, with subsidized rates for parents in lower-salaried ranks.”

No. 28 is Bingham McCutchen, previously ranked 12th. “What makes it so great? Known for its diversity (20 percent of partners are women, 7 percent are minorities), this corporate law firm is dedicated to community service. Each year two lawyers are awarded fellowships that further the firm’s pro bono commitments.” In a description for its “big pay” ranking, Fortune says the law firm also “fosters a playful culture with regular ping-pong matches, poker tournaments, and ‘Wii and Bucket of Beer’ competitions.”

No. 50 is Baker Donelson, previously ranked 77th. “What makes it so great? The 123-year-old law firm has a strong commitment to public service: It dedicates one attorney as its ‘pro bono shareholder’ to oversee charitable legal service and has doubled its yearly number of pro bono hours since 2008.”

No. 55 is Perkins Coie, previously ranked 75th. “What makes it so great? Law firm’s blue-chip client list includes Boeing, Intel, Google, Microsoft and Starbucks. In 2010 it began holding quarterly programs to acquaint all its staff—not just the lawyers—with how the firm’s work impacts companies’ success.”

There are several other law firm mentions in the Fortune package. Perkins Coie was one of 14 companies that pay 100 percent of employees’ health-care premiums. Alston & Bird made a top-13 list of companies with unusual perks because of a fertility benefit that covers everything from in-vitro fertilization to acupuncture. Alston & Bird, Baker Donelson and Perkins Coie also made a list of 21 companies that offer fully paid sabbaticals.

None of the law firms made Fortune’s lists for best work-life balance, lowest rates for on-site child care, or top percentage of telecommuters.

Two law firms on last year’s list didn’t make it this year. They are Arnold & Porter and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

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