These law firms ranked highest for midlevel associate satisfaction; transparency ratings increase

  • Print.


Image from

O’Melveny & Myers is ranked No. 1 for satisfaction by midlevel associates responding to a survey by the American Lawyer.

O’Melveny had a score of 4.862 from its midlevel associates on a scale of one to five, the American Lawyer reports.

The overall average satisfaction score was 4.32 for all 73 large law firms that participated in the survey, the American Lawyer reports in another story.

The survey found that midlevel associates “are increasingly satisfied with the openness of firm leadership, how firms communicate about making the partnership, and the opportunity to build relationships with partners,” according to the American Lawyer.

At the same time, associates are less happy with their work, finding it less interesting and satisfying than last year, the survey found.

More than 4,000 third-, fourth- and fifth-year associates participated in the survey.

The American Lawyer discussed the findings with Stephanie Biderman, a managing director with Major, Lindsey & Africa’s associate practice group. The survey reflects what she is hearing, Biderman said.

“I’m hearing from a lot of associates about communication and transparency, and the big takeaway is that associates feel that communication [from their firms] is way up,” Biderman told the American Lawyer. “Some associates are telling me that even when firms are communicating bad news, they’re still glad the firms shared it and aren’t aren’t trying to hide anything.”

The top five law firms for associate satisfaction are:

1.) O’Melveny & Meyers, with a score of 4.862

2.) Blank Rome, with a score of 4.756

3.) Paul Hastings, with a score of 4.733

4.) Shearman & Sterling, with a score of 4.681

5.) Goulston & Storrs, with a score of 4.669

O’Melveny also was No. 1 when midlevel associates were asked to score law firms on “firm-provided technology,” “firm-provided training,” “technology support” and “technology on behalf of clients,” the American Lawyer reports in a separate story.

When associates answered open-ended questions, associates expressed frustration with technology at their law firm in 169 instances.

“Having constant laptop issues is frankly embarrassing,” wrote one third-year associate in San Diego. “It also does make you feel devalued when you’re cranking out long hours and have a technical problem that’s completely out of your hands, only to get at best a Band-Aid solution. The firm can afford a new laptop.”

Associates also mentioned work-life balance more than 200 times, according to another American Lawyer story. The findings indicate that millennial associates place a higher value on personal time than Generation X and baby boomer lawyers.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.