What Is the Biglaw Salary Scale For the World’s Largest Law Firms?

What Is the Biglaw Salary Scale For the World's Largest Law Firms? 2

The intense competition for top legal talent has accelerated the move towards major money for lawyers.  But what is the Biglaw salary scale for the world’s largest law firms?


We have written about how to understand the Biglaw salary scale here, and update the bonuses and pay scale developments with Biglaw here.

Here is a list of the Biglaw salaries –

RankFirmRevenue (US$)LawyersRevenue per lawyer (US$)Profit per partner (US$)[2]Country with the most lawyers
1Kirkland & Ellis$4,154,600,0002,598$1,599,000$5,195,000United States United States
2Latham & Watkins$3,767,623,0002,720$1,385,000$3,352,000United States United States
3DLA Piper (verein)$3,112,130,0003,894$799,000$1,874,000United States United States
4Baker McKenzie (verein)$2,920,000,0004,809$607,000$1,443,000United States United States
5Dentons (verein)$2,899,600,00010,977$264,000$533,000United States United States
6Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom$2,632,615,0001,694$1,554,000$3,919,000United States United States
7Clifford Chance$2,500,000,0002,489$1,005,000$2,350,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
8Sidley Austin$2,337,803,0001,922$1,217,000$2,551,000United States United States
9Morgan, Lewis & Bockius$2,265,000,0002,063$1,098,000$1,391,000United States United States
10Hogan Lovells (verein)$2,246,050,0002,642$850,000$1,381,000United States United States
11White & Case$2,184,850,0002,204$991,000$2,400,000United States United States
12Allen & Overy$2,160,729,0002,447$883,000$2,215,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
13Linklaters$2,093,569,0002,393$875,000$2,270,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
14Jones Day$2,077,000,0002,514$826,000$1,093,000United States United States
15Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher$2,008,334,0001,351$1,486,000$3,345,000United States United States
16Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer$1,942,013,0001,812$1,072,000$2,485,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
17Norton Rose Fulbright$1,904,019,0003,266$583,000$907,000United States United States
18Ropes & Gray$1,903,616,0001,247$1,527,000$2,552,000United States United States
19Greenberg Traurig$1,641,790,0002,070$793,000$1,750,000United States United States
20Simpson Thacher & Bartlett$1,618,633,000996$1,625,000$4,417,000United States United States
21CMS (EEIG)$1,596,128,0003,765$424,000$766,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
22Weil, Gotshal & Manges$1,517,889,0001,126$1,348,000$4,028,000United States United States
23Mayer Brown$1,484,000,0001,632$909,000$1,702,000United States United States
24Sullivan & Cromwell$1,467,398,000809$1,814,000$4,653,000United States United States
25Davis Polk & Wardwell$1,444,000,000975$1,481,000$4,514,000United States United States
26Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison$1,387,694,0001,020$1,360,000$4,699,000United States United States
27King & Spalding$1,338,607,0001,165$1,149,000$2,847,000United States United States
28Goodwin Procter$1,330,176,0001,091$1,219,000$2,463,000United States United States
29Cooley$1,329,329,0001,009$1,318,000$2,382,000United States United States
30Paul Hastings$1,268,910,000954$1,330,000$3,254,000United States United States
31Herbert Smith Freehills$1,263,904,0002,228$567,000$1,269,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
32Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan$1,252,062,000827$1,514,000$4,556,000United States United States
33Reed Smith$1,246,926,0001,602$778,000$1,261,000United States United States
34Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton$1,211,009,0001,210$1,001,000$3,162,000United States United States
35Eversheds Sutherland$1,206,000,0002,563$471,000$1,161,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
36Covington & Burling$1,187,388,0001,112$1,068,000$1,734,000United States United States
37Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr$1,184,336,000844$1,403,000$2,151,000United States United States
38McDermott, Will & Emery$1,172,114,0001,051$1,115,000$1,884,000United States United States
39Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe$1,158,537,000990$1,170,000$1,989,000United States United States
40Morrison & Foerster$1,147,200,0001,005$1,141,000$1,982,000United States United States
41Dechert$1,135,502,000974$1,116,000$2,728,000United States United States
42Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld$1,135,014,000910$1,247,000$2,402,000United States United States
43King & Wood Mallesons (verein)$1,079,000,0003,258$331,000$921,000China China
44Milbank$1,069,027,000765$1,398,000$3,874,000United States United States
45Debevoise & Plimpton$1,049,459,000710$1,304,000$3,265,000United States United States
46Squire Patton Boggs (verein)$1,035,000,0001,485$697,000$1,027,000United States United States
47Holland & Knight$1,026,809,0001,212$847,000$1,424,000United States United States
48K&L Gates$1,026,626,0001,691$607,000$990,000United States United States
49Winston & Strawn$1,012,310,000879$1,152,000$2,162,000United States United States
50Proskauer Rose$1,004,942,000744$1,351,000$2,660,000United States United States
51Shearman & Sterling$968,164,000849$1,140,000$2,431,000United States United States
52Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati$961,000,000842$1,142,000$2,350,000United States United States
53Arnold & Porter$951,900,000919$1,036,000$1,242,000United States United States
54Perkins Coie$934,810,0001,042$897,000$1,287,000United States United States
55Foley & Lardner$920,427,0001,023$900,000$1,251,000United States United States
56Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz$882,086,000265$3,329,000$6,330,000United States United States
57Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner$869,057,0001,399$621,000$844,000United States United States
58Willkie Farr & Gallagher$868,000,000696$1,247,000$3,089,000United States United States
59McGuireWoods$853,505,000989$863,000$1,360,000United States United States
60Kim & Chang$846,114,0001,050$806,000$1,302,000What Is the Biglaw Salary Scale For the World's Largest Law Firms? 3 South Korea
61Alston & Bird$835,865,000796$1,050,000$2,087,000United States United States
62O’Melveny & Myers$835,342,000667$1,252,000$2,262,000United States United States
63Ashurst$822,259,0001,512$554,000$1,299,000Australia Australia
64Clyde & Co$800,554,0001,756$456,000$922,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
65Cravath, Swaine & Moore$799,555,000526$1,520,000$4,414,000United States United States
66Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton$799,139,000780$1,025,000$1,689,000United States United States
67Vinson & Elkins$792,597,000656$1,208,000$2,517,000United States United States
68Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson$776,000,000538$1,442,000$3,268,000United States United States
69Yingke$762,873,0008,862$86,000$172,000China China
70Hunton Andrews Kurth$756,000,000861$878,000$1,097,000United States United States
71Baker Botts$751,070,000734$1,023,000$1,662,000United States United States
72Slaughter & May$737,990,000598$1,234,000$3,073,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
73Baker & Hostetler$732,494,000890$823,000$1,035,000United States United States
74Seyfarth Shaw$717,370,000882$813,000$1,140,000United States United States
75Fragomen$701,787,000582$1,207,000$1,884,000United States United States
76Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman$677,320,000643$1,053,000$1,500,000United States United States
77Katten Muchin Rosenman$669,709,000675$993,000$1,682,000United States United States
78Venable$657,038,000735$894,000$1,165,000United States United States
79Gowling WLG$645,550,0001,283$503,000$535,000Canada Canada
80Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith$642,000,0001,528$428,000$951,000United States United States
81Pinsent Masons$632,654,0001,678$377,000$817,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
82Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt$617,493,000478$1,292,000$1,372,000Canada Canada
83Littler Mendelson$590,038,0001,066$553,000$521,000United States United States
84Polsinelli$580,437,000849$684,000$739,000United States United States
85Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough$557,987,000740$754,000$996,000United States United States
86Fox Rothschild$555,000,000860$645,000$695,000United States United States
87Troutman Sanders$549,617,000664$828,000$1,074,000United States United States
88Zhong Lun$535,314,0001,554$344,000$809,000China China
89Blake, Cassels & Graydon$524,160,000638$822,000$747,000Canada Canada
90Faegre Baker Daniels$521,138,000674$773,000$896,000United States United States
91Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart$520,099,000862$604,000$776,000United States United States
92Cozen O’Connor$517,301,000675$767,000$828,000United States United States
93Duane Morris$510,341,000658$775,000$1,010,000United States United States
94AllBright Law Offices$506,652,0003,178$159,000$403,000China China
95Nixon Peabody$505,520,000591$856,000$1,503,000United States United States
96McCarthy Tetrault$498,545,000642$777,000$762,000Canada Canada
97Simmons & Simmons$497,952,0001,056$472,000$949,000United Kingdom United Kingdom
98Locke Lord$496,433,000611$812,000$1,035,000United States United States
99Jackson Lewis$486,149,000865$562,000$634,000United States United States
100Bird & Bird$485,312,0001,200$404,000$757,000United Kingdom United Kingdom


Big Law Salary Trends In 2022 & What IS The Cravath Scale?

What Is the Biglaw Salary Scale For the World's Largest Law Firms? 4

The increased salaries for BigLaw continues with O’Melveny, which generated $835,097,000 in gross revenue in 2020 — making it 54th on the Am Law 100 — raised their salary levels in March and once again set off a growth in big law salaries that has continued on both sides of the Atlantic.

The move by O’Melveny was sparked – surprise, surprise – by Cravaths’ March Associate salary increases, which leads us to the question of the ‘Cravath Scale’ and just what IS the Cravath Scale and how does it affect those seeking great pay and a great law job (given that the two are not, necessarily compatible).

The Cravath Scale relates to the traditional lockstep system of compensation for lawyers in Biglaw, but there is something much more about the ‘Scale’ that can provide insights and help for those seeking to snare great jobs in Biglaw by their understanding not only of how large law firms operate, but also how to ensure you can fit into a firm that might not otherwise appear to have you meet their criteria.

Cravath have a ‘grow their own’ system in their recruitment where they deploy the so-called ‘Cravath system’ that will see them recruit legal talent who will fit easily into the firm and its culture.

Mostly, the sort of factors that Cravath would emphasize – ability to handle complex work, work within a team, a good work ethic, a desire to build a career – are also shared by many of the other Biglaw players. But Cravath’s lengthy history has seen its focus on such factors remain, albeit largely now replaced in terms of screening by the law schools’ own intensely competitive desire to rank highly and also of course with the undergraduate LGA and LSAT scores.

With various law school ‘ranking factors’ like extracurriculars and school ranking, the law graduate who arrive at the door of any biglaw firm are already highly screened in terms of their potential. Thus, much of the ‘Cravath system’ is handled not be Cravaths but by the legal talent produced by the law schools who must meet the criteria set by the Biglaw firms.

The pre-eminence of your law school’s ranking and your grades in terms of achieving a Biglaw placement is hardly surprising. It is there factors, the academic background and record, that weigh heaviest, despite criticisms levelled at those who criticize the elite law school/elite law firm linkages.

Of the top-ranked law schools, around three-quarters wind up with Biglaw firms and most of the Top 14 law school rankings as assessed by US News & World Report will see around half of the graduates in Biglaw firms but those in the lower reaches of the elite law school list make Biglaw graduates.

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