Where is the best place to be a law firm associate? The short answer is: It depends. In the chart below, we aggregated the average satisfaction scores from ALM Intelligence’s 2018 Midlevel Associate Survey by the city where firm offices are located, and sliced across a few metrics.

There isn’t a huge amount of variation across the major U.S. legal markets, indicating that midlevel associates at large law firms are generally pretty pleased. Miami ranks top by a hair when it comes to benefits and compensation satisfaction, while Los Angeles take the crown in terms of satisfying work.

But as The American Lawyer summed it up, associates all around seem to be wondering about their futures. That’s particularly true in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where associates expressed the most doubt that they’ll be at the same firm in the next two years.

The Midlevel Associates Survey is conducted by ALM Intelligence on behalf of The American Lawyer. Am Law 200 and Global 100 firms were invited to participate in the survey. This year,  5,270 midlevel associates responded, and 102 firms were ranked. Associates rated their firms on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the lowest score possible (very dissatisfied) and 5 the highest (very satisfied).

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