The incident initiated a flurry of racial violence in Texas. White tenant farmers had exhibited hostility to blacks throughout the county. As county seat, Sherman was the county's banking, industrial, and educational center. The Southern Commission on the Study of Lynching reported in 1931 that Sherman had felt the onset of the depression more keenly than representative communities of similar size in Texas. The prevalent abhorrence of miscegenation, together with the sensation surrounding the rape of a white woman by a black man, provided the context of the violence.
How does Vault come up with its list of the Top 100 law firms? The first step is to compile a list of the most renowned law firms across the country by reviewing the feedback we have received in previous surveys, poring over legal publications, speaking with lawyers, legal recruiters, and law firm personnel, and reviewing other published rankings.
We then asked these top firms to distribute an online survey to their associates. This year, more than 19,000 attorneys returned anonymous surveys to Vault. Associates from all over the country and the world responded. We heard from lawyers in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, DC, Miami, London, Cleveland, Seattle, Orlando, Paris, Phoenix, Atlanta and many other domestic and international locations.
The online survey asked attorneys to score each of the law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how prestigious they perceive the firm to be.
Associates were instructed to only rate those firms with which they were familiar and were not permitted to rate their own firm. Vault then tallied the scores and now presents the results in our Top 100 ranking. • Ranking History 2019 Vault Law 100 1 SCORE 8.976 Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has been known as one of the nation's pre-eminent law firms for nearly 200 years.
With industry-leading practices on both... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 1 2 SCORE 8.654 Each year, a significant chunk of the world's dealmaking-major mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and shareholder litigation, big-name restructurings,...
• • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 2 3 SCORE 8.569 Giant Among Mortals Kind of like Oprah or Beyoncé, Skadden is a giant among mortals.
Known by its one name, it sits atop its world, continuously... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 3 4 SCORE 8.258 A BigLaw powerhouse, Sullivan & Cromwell has been ranked in the AmLaw 100 since the rankings began in the 1980s and is a regular player on The... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 4 5 SCORE 7.938 Latham is one of the world's largest law firms, a bona fide member of the clique that includes the Magic Circle and the elite U.S. heritage firms.
With... • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 7 6 SCORE 7.916 Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, founded in New York City more than 165 years ago, has finance in its DNA. The firm boasts one of the nation's best and... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 5 7 SCORE 7.849 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is a Wall Street institution, housing elite teams in M&A, banking, capital markets, private funds, and litigation and...
• • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 6 8 SCORE 7.847 Kirkland & Ellis, one the world's most elite law firms, is recognized for its private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions,... • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 8 9 SCORE 7.585 With powerhouse practices ranging from M&A to appellate law, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher does its share of high-stakes work.
Founded in Los Angeles in... • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 9 10 SCORE 7.489 For decades, Paul, Weiss has valiantly defended the coffers and reputations of some of the world's largest financial institutions and companies.... • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 11 11 SCORE 7.483 A powerhouse in restructuring, M&A, private equity, and litigation, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has long been one of the world's leading law firms....
• • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 10 12 SCORE 7.410 Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has been cultivating the persona of an eccentric genius-shocking the often-staid (OK, uptight) legal world... • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 13 13 SCORE 7.403 Sidley is one of the largest U.S. law firms and traces its roots back to the 1866 founding of predecessor firm Williams & Thompson in Chicago....
• • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 14 14 SCORE 7.393 Cleary Gottlieb is a preeminent global law firm, with offices on four continents and an unparalleled reputation for groundbreaking work.
While long known... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 12 15 SCORE 7.267 This "brain trust" law firm is known for quietly (and smartly) going about its business-that business being antitrust, litigation, white collar defense... • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 16 16 SCORE 7.253 A heavy-hitter with a hand in most major areas of law and an internationally recognized prowess in litigation, Jones Day uses its size and reach-offices... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 15 17 SCORE 6.935 Relatively tiny Williams & Connolly has resisted globalization and continues to hold its own against firms ten times its size by following a basic...
• • TRENDING 2018 Rank 19 18 SCORE 6.900 Debevoise & Plimpton ranks as one of New York's most powerful law firms, representing high-profile clients in transactions and disputes in... • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 17 19 SCORE 6.896 Founded at the dawn of the 20th century, White & Case has grown from its New York beginnings to become a truly global law firm with a longstanding...
• • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 18 20 SCORE 6.839 Since Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP and Hale and Dorr LLP merged to become WilmerHale in 2004, the firm has established itself as one of the preeminent...
• • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 23 21 SCORE 6.780 Ropes & Gray has expanded in every measurable way in the 21st century, acquiring smaller boutique firms in the States while claiming new turf in the... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 21 22 SCORE 6.712 Over the last few decades, Paul Hastings has grown from a mid-market U.S. firm to an international outfit with strengths in employment, tax, and business...
• • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 22 23 SCORE 6.665 Started in 1997, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is a relative newcomer to the elite firm ranks but already boasts nearly 300 lawyers and has its... • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 20 24 SCORE 6.660 In 1973 those cats in San Fran approved "MoFo" as Morrison & Foerster's official nickname, accentuating the firm's unconventional modus operandi....
• • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 24 25 SCORE 6.333 Formed in 2010 by the merger of DC's Hogan & Hartson and London's Lovells, Hogan Lovells is a global megafirm with more than 45 offices in the United... • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 26 26 SCORE 6.296 With an extensive history of working big-time cases spread across a diverse array of fields, O'Melveny & Myers LLP boasts expertise in a little bit... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 25 27 SCORE 6.216 Founded by Arthur Cooley and Louis Crowley in 1920 in San Francisco, Cooley became a major player in California, as it prospered in the Silicon Valley...
• TRENDING 2018 Rank 32 28 SCORE 6.212 Proskauer Rose is practically synonymous with "sports law"-clients include Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey... • • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 27 29 SCORE 6.165 Founded in Texas in 1945, Akin Gump has grown to become one of the world's largest law firms, with over 900 lawyers working across a vast array of... • • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 28 30 SCORE 6.151 In the biggest law firm merger news of 2017, Washington, DC giant Arnold & Porter combined with New York's Kaye Scholer, creating Arnold & Porter...
• • • TRENDING 2018 Rank 29
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Vault’s Law 100 Rankings for 2018 are here, and the #1 firm is now a back-to-back champion. is once again the most prestigious firm after ending ’s thirteen-year reign in last year’s ranking. And Cravath widened its the lead over Wachtell Lipton this year from .057 points to .268 points.
The Top 10 Most Prestigious Law Firms based on Vault’s Annual Associate Survey are: • • • • • • • • • • Survey respondents called Cravath the “leader of the pack” and the “great American law firm against which all others should be judged.” Cravath increased its score from 8.961 to 9.056, while Wachtell, described as the “M&A legends,” saw its prestige score drop slightly from 8.904 to 8.788. “After just edging out Wachtell last year, Cravath really solidified its top spot this year,” said Matt Moody, Vault’s Senior Law Editor.
“Cravath invented the business model upon which nearly all large law firms are organized. And associates clearly haven’t forgotten that the firm is responsible for industry-wide associate raises last year.” One survey respondent even commented, “Thank God for the Cravath pay scale!” Although the top remained the same, there was a shakeup at the tail end of the top 10.
and each moved up a spot to numbers 9 and 10, respectively, with Weil regaining its Top 10 status after a single year on the outside.
Making room in the Top 10 was , which fell three spots to number 12. The Vault Associate Survey The Vault Law 100 ranking is based on scores from nearly 18,000 law firm associates surveyed earlier this year, who were asked to rate law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige.
Survey respondents were not allowed to rate their own firms and were asked to only rate firms with which they were familiar. In addition to the industry-wide ranking of overall prestige, Vault also asked associates to rate the local prestige of law firms in their region and select the strongest firms in their specific areas of practice. From this data, Vault produces 26 practice area prestige rankings—including Commercial Litigation, M&A, IP, and Antitrust—and 13 regional prestige rankings—including New York; Washington, DC; Chicago; and Southern California.
Five New Firms in the Top 100 leaped back into the Top 100 Most Prestigious Firms this year at number 91 after a one year absence. Other new firms to the Top 100 this year are (No.
99)—home to President Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz—along with Atlanta’s (No. 96), Seattle’s (No. 98), and Philadelphia’s (No. 100). Although five new firms jumped into the Top 100, only three firms—Bracewell; Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler; and Keker & Van Nest—fell out.
The other two spots were opened up from major mergers this year: Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer combined to form , and and Chadbourne & Parke announced a combination earlier this year as well. Practice Area Changes Two practice areas saw new champs this year with taking the number one spot in Project Finance and Cravath ranking highest in General Corporate Law. Milbank’s win over Skadden was the first time Skadden failed to be the best firm in Project Finance in that ranking’s five-year history.
Cravath’s General Corporate law win also knocked Skadden from the top perch in that area—the two firms traded the number one and number three positions while Wachtell Lipton held firm at number two. But don’t shed too many tears for Skadden—the firm still holds the number one spot in three specialized prestige categories: Tax, Securities Litigation, and the Mid-Atlantic region. The only other firm that can boast such a claim is Kirkland & Ellis, which is tops in Restructuring, Private Equity, and Chicago.
In addition to a full range of Corporate and Litigation practice rankings, Vault also added two new practice area rankings this year to spotlight growing areas of the law. took the top spot in the inaugural ranking and and topped Vault’s new law ranking.
Shakeups in Texas and Washington, DC The practice area rankings were not the only specialized prestige rankings to see changes at top this year—there were new kings of two regional rankings as well. reclaimed its position as the best firm in Washington, DC, knocking down to the number two firm in the nation’s capital. These two firms have traded the top spot in recent years, with Covington ranked number one in 2013, 2016, and 2018 while Williams & Connolly was at the top in 2014, 2015, and 2017.
ranked highest this year in Texas, which has seen a similar back-and-forth at the top of the rankings. V&E reclaimed its pinnacle position after two years at number two. , this year’s second place firm, topped the Texas ranking in 2016 and 2017. Vault’s Top Law Firms in each region are: : King & Spalding : Ropes & Gray : Kirkland & Ellis : White & Case : Skadden : Jones Day : Gibson Dunn : Wachtell Lipton : Morrison & Foerster : Perkins Coie : Latham & Watkins : Vinson & Elkins : Covington & Burling View the entire Law Firm Rankings, the , and the .
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