The Top 8 Most Elite Law Firms In America
October 4, 2022
The American Lawyer’s annual A-List of top law firms in America has been released, and the rankings are out! Despite the gap between elite law firms and top corporate law firms narrowing, there are still some major differences between them (we covered this topic in another blog post). Today, we’ll be taking a look at the eight most elite law firms in America based on The American Lawyer’s A-List of top law firms in America. We’ll also look into what factors the rankings take into account and whether or not the methodology behind their rankings has changed over time.
1) Cravath Swaine & Moore
Cravath Swaine & Moore is the most elite law firm in America. They are headquartered in New York, New York, and have a total of 1,750 attorneys and staff members. Cravath was founded in 1819 by William Seward Cravath, who was one of the nation’s first prominent trial lawyers. Over the years, they have seen many changes to the face of their business and have grown to be a full-service law firm that offers expertise in all areas of law with an emphasis on corporate transactions. They are currently ranked as Tier 1 on The Am Law A-List: Ranking The Most Elite Law Firms In America (2022).
WilmerHale is an international law firm with over 2,000 lawyers on six continents. They are widely regarded as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world and have a strong presence in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Silicon Valley,
Boston and other major metropolitan cities. WilmerHale’s notable clients include some of the world’s largest publicly traded companies and government entities. The firm provides legal advice to a wide range of industries including financial services, biotechnology, automotive, defense and aerospace, health care technology, and pharmaceuticals.
3) Davis Polk & Wardwell
Davis Polk & Wardwell is a premier law firm with an illustrious history. Founded in 1878, the firm has been home to many of the era’s most influential lawyers, including Elihu Root and Theodore Roosevelt. Headquartered in Manhattan, Davis Polk is primarily known for its extensive corporate and securities practice.
The firm’s litigation group also routinely handles high-stakes matters involving antitrust laws, government regulations, and intellectual property disputes. Davis Polk operates four offices in New York City (Manhattan), Palo Alto (Silicon Valley), Washington D.C., and Brussels (Europe).
4) Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is known for its legal and business advisory services, with strong practices in the areas of bankruptcy, corporate law, and financial restructuring. The firm has been named the number one law firm in the United States by US News and World Report. Ranked number 11 on The Am Law A-List: Ranking The Most Elite Law Firms In America (2022),
Sullivan & Cromwell is a powerhouse in New York City’s legal landscape. Founded in 1879, Sullivan & Cromwell currently employs 1,000 attorneys across six offices worldwide with an additional 400 lawyers who work as outside counsel to the firm’s clients.
5) Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
Ranked as the #1 law firm in the United States, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is a multinational law firm based in New York. With over 2,000 attorneys and offices in countries around the world, Skadden’s clientele includes Fortune 500 companies and other international organizations. As of 2017, they had a revenue of $2.5 billion.
In 2018, Skadden ranked #1 in both The American Lawyer’s A-List Survey and Vault’s rankings of best law firms to work for. The firm has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For nine times since the ranking began in 1998.
Skadden was founded by William H.
6) Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis is one of the most prestigious law firms in the country, with a long list of Fortune 500 clients. The firm has more than 2,000 attorneys in 32 offices around the world.
In 2018, Kirkland ranked #1 on Vault’s list of America’s Best Corporate Law Firms and #2 on Vault’s list of America’s Best Litigation Boutique Law Firms.
Kirkland has been named as one of the Best Places to Work by The American Lawyer for 16 consecutive years.
Notable partners include former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Secretary of State James Baker III.
7) Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is an elite law firm located in New York City. Founded in 1946, it has a broad practice that includes commercial litigation, antitrust and securities regulation, international trade and finance, and intellectual property.
The firm has been nationally recognized for its representation of global financial institutions in high-stakes litigation as well as its antitrust and trade matters. Cleary Gottlieb is also known for its expertise in the pharmaceutical industry and general healthcare issues.
8 ) Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz LLP
Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz LLP is a leading international law firm with offices in New York, London, and San Francisco. The firm represents an international clientele of corporations and financial institutions in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, restructurings, and other business transactions.
The Firm has counseled clients on some of the most significant mergers and acquisitions ever to take place in the United States and Western Europe. Wachtell has also represented many sovereign entities around the world on issues involving nationalization or privatization of state-owned assets.
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