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Twenty-four Texas firms (Mayor, Day, Caldwell & Keeton merged with Andrews & Kurth in 2001) were asked to spread the word to their associates that Texas Lawyer was conducting its Associate Quality of Life Survey, and 582 associates from 12 firms participated. We required a minimum of 10 responses about a firm for inclusion. These firms did not receive the minimum number of responses: Clark, Thomas & Winters; Fulbright & Jaworski; Jenkens & Gilchrist; Haynes and Boone; and Jackson Walker. Incomplete surveys and responses received after March 4 were not accepted. Associate comments were edited for grammar, punctuation and style. Invited firms that did not participate in this year’s QOL Survey included Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; Vinson & Elkins; Winstead Sechrest & Minick; Brown McCarroll; Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Martin; Baron & Budd; and Cox & Smith. Associates were asked to rate their firms in nine categories — compensation, training quality, partner feedback, partner treatment, associate relations, management openness, client contact, the importance of billable hours and time expected to remain at the firm. The choices ranged in point value from 1 to 5; the higher the score, the higher the quality of life. For example, in the partner treatment category, if a respondent selected “an indentured servant,” that would earn the respondent’s firm a “1″ in that category; if the associate chose “a respected colleague,” that counted as a “5.” The ratings for each category were averaged among the responses and averaged again to produce each firm’s overall rating. The ratings were then ranked from highest to lowest; those rankings appear in the chart below. Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, with the overall score closest to “5,” is ranked No. 1.

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