Boston is one of the largest legal markets in the US with over 2000 law firms and the major Big Law firms with a Boston office operating in the US across multiple markets but with not only the country’s best law firms operating, but also an array of specialist firms, smaller and mid-sized law firms.
The market itself is known for its renowned and prestigious universities, along with its medical and life sciences institutions with many lawyers involved in some of the major New England legal services involving cutting-edge work for life sciences, intellectual property and other pioneering work.
However it is also corporate, commercial and related work that Boston firms also handle for international clients to corporate, private equity, venture capital, patent, and government agencies work, the law firms services a busy commercial scene in Boston, described by law news site AboveTheLaw as a \”kinder, gentler version\” of New York law but while still providing the same sophisticated work and work opportunities for attorneys.
1. Goodwin Procter – With almost 430 Boston lawyers and nearly 200 partners in Boston, Goodwin is also one of the largest firms in the country and the world, employing 1800 lawyers globally and growing strongly in recent years as its transactional, litigation and other work saw revenues surge to nearly $2 billion in 2021. It ranks 27 on the Vault rankings and has been ranked #3 for the best law firms in Boston.
2. Ropes & Gray – Employing around 630 attorneys and with over 130 partners in Boston, Ropes & Gray heads the list. According to the 2021 Vault Rankings, the Ropes & Gray ranks #3 in the best law firms to work for and The American Lawyer\’s Am Law 100 ranked the firm #6 in revenue and profits per equity partner in 2020.
3.Wilmer Hale – The litigation super star firm has 115 Boston partners where it is co-headquartered, along with Washington DC. With a strong intellectual property practice and a strong commitment towards pro bono work, the firm is proudly part-Bostonian. It has 1000 lawyers and offices across the US, along with Asia and Europe.
4.Minz – This is the firm founded in Boston in 1933 at One Federal Street and handling work for banks and wealthy Bostonians, the firm has over 320 Boston lawyers today including 130 partners (members) and employs 550 lawyers across its seven offices with one in London, UK and a foreign network of firms.
5.Morgan Lewis & Bockius – With nearly 180 attorneys in the firm\’s Boston office, including 82 partners, Morgan Lewis is a legal powerhouse employing approximately 2000 legal professionals across 31 offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm has merged with other firms to generate additional growth and has achieved over $2,5 billion gross revenue in 2021.
6. Foley & Hoag – Another Boston law firm, and one of the smaller \’Big Law\’ firms in Boston, Foley & Hoag handles a range of legal work ranging from health care law to transactions and disputes. Foley Hoag has over 140 lawyers in Boston, including 95 partners. The firm 300 attorneys and is ranked 151st in the United States with offices also in Washington DC, New York and Paris. It has revenues of over $290 million in 2021 and was placed 121st on The American Lawyer\’s 2022 Am Law 200 ranking (198th highest grossing firms in the world).
8.Holland & Knight – The Florida-based firm has 79 Boston partners with over 130 professional staff. The firm has over 1700 attorneys and other legal professionals internationally across the US, Europe, Asia and North Africa. It had revenues of $1.4 billion in 2001 and is #60 on the Vault rankings.
9. Fish & Richardson – With 70 attorneys in the Boston office, including 39 ‘principals’, the firm is renowned for its intellectual property, patent and litigation practice, employing over 400 lawyers across the US and Europe.
10.Kirkland & Ellis – Another global powerhouse law firm, Kirkland & Ellis has massive revenues of over $6 billion according to Law.com rankings and have over 70 attorneys including close to 50 partners in the Boston office, which opened in 2017 handling bankruptcy and restructuring, private equity and corporate work. It is #7 on the Vault rankings.
11.Choate Hall & Stewart – This Boston firm has 215 lawyers including 45 partners and ranks as one of the largest \’home grown\’ law firms based and practicing in Boston. Unlike other firms with multi-national and national offices, Choate works only from the Boston office and celebrates its ability to handle \’high stakes\’ work in a friendly, collegiate environment at home in Boston.
12.Latham & Watkins – A global powerhouse firm with 28 Boston partners and 100 legal professionals, LW is based in Los Angeles and is the first law firm in the world to break the $5 billion revenue barrier, now reaching close to $5.5 billion in revenues.
13.Arent Fox Schiff – Another major law firm, which like Latham & Watkins has 28 Boston partners and 50 professional employees in the firm\’s Boston office. The firm had $45m in revenues in 2021 and was placed 111th on The American Lawyer\’s 2022 Am Law 200 ranking. On the 2021 Global 200 survey, it ranked as the 148th highest grossing law firm in the world.
The multiple rankings for the best lawyers in Boston range across multiple publications, with Boston Magazine ranking the best lawyers individually from the above firms and many others and providing legal services for everything from life sciences to real estate law and commercial litigation.
It is not just the big firms that necessarily have the best lawyers for different areas of legal work, but the range of Massachusetts attorneys providing legal work is expansive and includes some of the most talented lawyers in America.
In February 2023 Akin Gump announced that it was to open a Boston law office, focused on special situations, financial and tax, private equity and related legal work.