Vault Law Firm Rankings 2024: What Happened?
The Vault rankings of the most prestigious law firms in America may not necessarily mean a great deal (although of course LawFuel has already published the most prestigious law firms list, too), but they are certainly worthy of study given that they are based upon a survey of 20,000 biglaw associates around the country.
Cravath sit at the top of the 2024 Vault rankings table (again), just as they do for LawFuel. And for Vault the top 3 places remain the same, as shown below.
In fact, for the sixth consecutive year, the same ten firms maintained their positions in the Vault 100.
Indeed of the top 10 law firms, seven firms remain in the same position with Latham & Watkins and Sullivan & Cromwell both moving up one space (to numbers 4 and 5 respectively).
Davis Polk & Wardwell dropped two places in the 2024 ranking.
- Cravath, Swaine & Moore
- Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
- Latham & Watkins (+1)
- Sullivan & Cromwell (+1)
- Davis Polk & Wardwell (-2)
- Kirkland & Ellis
- Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
- Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
Remarkably, seven of these top ten law firms retained their rankings without any change, while minor shifts occurred in the middle of the list. It is interesting that the minor changes in the Vault Top 10 do not appear to be linked to substantial news or developments regarding these firms and are more akin to random fluctuations.
The general view on the Vault ‘prestige law firm’ rankings is that movements in the Vault rankings should be considered meaningful only when they involve a rise or fall of more than three positions.
LawFuel wrote about how to understand law firm rankings recently.
One of the features of this year’s rankings (in fact, technically they are next year being 2024) is that Tech-centric firms took a tumble in the 2024 Vault 100 rankings.
What Are The Best Law Firms To Work For?
There were some significant changes in the Best Law Firms to Work for ranking, including changes to the top 10, with Clifford Chance taking the top spot.
The Top 10 in these rankings were:
1. Clifford Chance US
2. O’Melveny & Myers
3. McDermott Will & Emery (tie)
3. Morgan Lewis & Bockius (tie)
7. Fried Frank
8. Proskauer Rose
10. Gibson Dunn
Additionally, Vault released rankings for Best Law Firms by Region and Practice Area.
Williams & Connolly LLP moved up to No. 1 in Appellate Litigation.
Covington & Burling moved up to No. 1 in Environmental Law.
Kirkland & Ellis moved up to No. 1 in Private Equity Law.
Susman Godfrey holds No. 1 for Best Midsize in New York & Texas.
Law firm rankings from Vault carry considerable cache, but like any rankings they are subjected to the whims of the times and the vagaries of the manner in which they are collated and assembled.