Law Firms

Wachtell, Cravath Rated Most Prestigious

Associates rate Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as the most prestigious law firm, while partners pick Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

The two firms took second-place spots on the other group’s lists, according to prestige rankings by Vault, a career information company.

Sullivan & Cromwell was third on both lists.

Wachtell is known for its round-the clock productivity and aggressiveness, and that affects the bottom line: The firm has the highest earnings per partner in the world, Vault says.

Vault compares Cravath to the In-N-Out Burger chain: Both “streamline the menu, then execute very, very well.” Cravath has only two offices and a concentrated list of services, and the formula works, Vault says.

Vault also asked lawyers to rate law firms on the basis of quality-of-life diversity.

Associates rated McKee Nelson as the best place to work, followed by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler.

“McKee Nelson insiders practically gush about the firm’s culture,” Vault says. It quotes one associate who said, “The founding partner told us he wanted to practice law with his friends, and that’s what it feels like here.”

Dickstein Shapiro was rated best for diversity. The law firm has a diversity committee and a full-time diversity/pro bono counsel. Ranking second was Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

The Recorder interviewed associates who worked at Latham & Watkins, which was rated the best place to work in California. While associates agreed lawyers there were of high quality and enjoyable to work with, they told the legal publication the quality of work available leaves something to be desired.

One associate said the Vault description did not match reality. “My reaction was: I want to work there,” the associate joked.

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