1. Munger, Tolles & Olson, 
Los Angeles

Munger Tolles, ranked second on The A-List last year, climbed a step to claim the No. 1 spot this year. Although Munger’s associate satisfaction score and revenue per lawyer both dropped, its high scores in diversity, pro bono and female equity partners let it pull ahead of the competition. Munger’s diversity score was the eighth highest among Am Law 200 firms, and its female equity partner score was the 15th best in The Am Law 200.

RPL Score 89.5
Pro Bono Score 98.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 83.5
Diversity Score 96.5
Female Equity Partners Score 93.0
Total Score



Related Items:
• Chart: The A-List Top 20
• Chart: Firms Ranked by the Percentage of Female Equity Partners in the Am Law 200
• Chart: The A-List Runners Up

2. Ropes & Gray, National

Coming in a close second is Ropes & Gray. The firm’s jump five places up the rankings was largely due to a 5.5-point increase in its diversity score and a strong female equity partner score, which ranked in the top 20 for Am Law 200 firms. Still, diversity is the firm’s weakest area. Ropes & Gray also earned top scores in RPL, pro bono and associate satisfaction.

RPL Score 92.0  
Pro Bono Score 93.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 94.5
Diversity Score 86.5
Female Equity Partners Score 91.5
Total Score 91.9

3. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind,
Wharton & Garrison
, New York

Paul Weiss jumped 23 spots on this year’s A-list, rocketing from 26th place to third. The firm got a boost from a standout score in the new female equity partner category but also increased scores in every other category. The biggest improvement came in associate satisfaction, which went up 9 points. Paul Weiss raised its scores by 2.5 points in RPL and 8.0 points in pro bono—gains that are weighted double in A-List score calculations.

RPL Score 91.5  
Pro Bono Score 79.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 82.5
Diversity Score 93.5
Female Equity Partners Score 93.0
Total Score 87.1

4. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
, National

Wilmer rose from 10th last year to fourth this year with an overall score increase of 6.1 points. The firm performed particularly well in RPL and pro bono, the two scores given the most weight by our A-List calculations. Although the firm lagged slightly in associate satisfaction and diversity, its pro bono, RPL and female equity partner scores are among the strongest in The Am Law 200.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 93.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 78.5
Diversity Score 67.5
Female Equity Partners Score 91.0
Total Score 86.6

5. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, National

Gibson Dunn’s golden RPL and pro bono scores combined with a strong associate satisfaction score to keep the firm near the top of the A-List. But the firm also saw a nearly 6-point decline in its diversity score and made a poor showing in the new female equity partner metric. A 7.6-point decline in its overall score pushed Gibson Dunn down one rank to finish in fifth place.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 95.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 98.0
Diversity Score 78.5
Female Equity Partners Score 46.0
Total Score 85.9

6. Debevoise 
& Plimpton, 
New York

Debevoise’s overall score decreased by 7 points, but it remained in sixth place, buoyed by a solid performance in RPL and top-flight pro bono and diversity scores. The firm saw comparatively low scores in associate satisfaction—down 20.5 points—and the female equity partner category.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 95.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 71.0
Diversity Score 90.0
Female Equity Partners Score 67.5
Total Score 85.4

7. Paul Hastings, National

Paul Hastings had a strong showing in almost all categories—except for a below-average female equity partner score of 35.0. The firm maintained a perfect score in associate satisfaction and a pro bono score of 97.5, both of which were unchanged from 2016.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 97.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 100.0
Diversity Score 92.5
Female Equity Partners Score 35.0
Total Score 85.1

8. Shearman & Sterling, International

Shearman & Sterling advanced 17 spots in the rankings and returned to the A-List for the first time since 2013, largely due to a dramatic 38.5-point increase in associate satisfaction. The firm also raised its RPL score by 4.0 points and its already-outstanding pro bono score by 3.5 points, but saw a decrease of 4.0 points in diversity. With a female equity partner score of 59.0, Shearman has some room to improve in that category.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 96.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 90.0
Diversity Score 89.0
Female Equity Partners Score 59.0
Total Score 85.0

9. Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.

Small increases in RPL and associate satisfaction scores, combined with a high female equity partners score, helped Covington surge 11 places on the A-List. Its diversity score stayed constant at 85.0, and pro bono dipped 2.5 points to a still-impressive 92.0. These factors added up to a 2.1 point increase in the firm’s total score.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 92.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 82.0
Diversity Score 85.0
Female Equity Partners Score 88.5
Total Score 84.4

10. Orrick, 
& Sutcliffe
, National

Orrick moved four places up in the rankings this year, despite a 1.2-point drop in overall score. Associate satisfaction was a bright spot, with Orrick’s score jumping 23 points year over year, but the firm’s middling female equity partner score canceled out that gain. While Orrick’s RPL score dropped slightly to 74.0, the firm remains a pro bono and diversity standout.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 96.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 97.5
Diversity Score 96.5
Female Equity Partners Score 52.0
Total Score 83.7

11. Milbank, Tweed, 
Hadley & McCloy
, New York

Milbank outperformed most firms on the A-List and Am Law 200 in RPL, pro bono, associate satisfaction and diversity, scoring in the mid-90s for all four categories. However, when it comes to women in equity partnership, Milbank’s low score of 19.5 puts it behind most of the Am Law 200. The firm dropped from third to 11th place on this year’s A-List as a result.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 94.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 95.0
Diversity Score 95.5
Female Equity Partners Score 19.5
Total Score 83.6

12. O’Melveny & Myers, Los Angeles

O’Melveny earned a near-perfect score in associate satisfaction, up 0.5 from 2016. The firm also performed well in the double-weighted categories of RPL and pro bono. A less impressive female equity partner score (54.5), though, dragged its ranking down by three places for a tie at 12th place with Skadden.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 90.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 99.5
Diversity Score 83.0
Female Equity Partners Score 54.5
Total Score 83.4

12. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, National

Skadden moved up four spots on the A-List to tie for 12th, helped by a female equity partner score of 73.5. Despite a small decrease in its RPL score, the firm remains well-ensconced in The Am Law 200′s financial elite. Skadden experienced a small decline in its diversity score but saw increases in associate satisfaction and pro bono.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 84.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 74.0
Diversity Score 74.5
Female Equity Partners Score 73.5
Total Score 83.4

14. Simpson Thacher 
& Bartlett
, New York

Climbing 10 spots to 14th place, Simpson Thacher is back on the A-List after a four-year absence. The RPL category is the firm’s best showing with 96.0 points. It also performed well in the female equity partner category with a score of 80.0 and in diversity with a score of 87.0. Simpson Thacher’s weaknesses lay in pro bono and associate satisfaction, where the firm ranked just outside the top third of The Am Law 200.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 68.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 67.5
Diversity Score 87.0
Female Equity Partners Score 80.0
Total Score 80.5

15. Manatt, Phelps 
& Phillips
, Los Angeles

Pro bono work and happy associates—plus a solid performance in the new female equity partner category—helped push Manatt into The A-List for the first time this year, from 27th place in 2016. The firm raised its pro bono score by 4.5 points and its associate satisfaction score by 6.5. The firm’s relative weakness in RPL was magnified by double-weighting in our A-List formula, while Manatt also had an 8.5-point drop in diversity.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 87.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 92.0
Diversity Score 77.0
Female Equity Partners Score 75.5
Total Score 80.2

16. Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C.

Arnold & Porter climbed 14 spots to make its first A-List appearance since 2010. Pro bono remains a key strength, while the firm’s associate satisfaction score jumped 13 points, and its female equity partner score of 77.0 points put it ahead of many rivals. It remains to be seen how Arnold & Porter’s merger with Kaye Scholer will affect its A-List standing next year.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 94.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 71.5
Diversity Score 78.5
Female Equity Partners Score 77.0
Total Score 79.7

17. Kirkland & Ellis, National

Kirkland dropped nine places on the A-List, down from eighth in 2016. Not surprisingly for a firm that ranked second on the Am Law 200 list of highest-grossing law firms, Kirkland’s greatest strength remained its RPL score of 98.0, followed by a solid pro bono score of 86.0. However, the firm saw new weakness in its associate satisfaction and diversity scores—which dropped by 9.0 points and 8.0 points, respectively—and its female equity partner score of 41.0 put it behind a majority of Am Law 200 firms.

RPL Score
Pro Bono Score 86.0
Associate Satisfaction Score 81.5
Diversity Score 64.0
Female Equity Partners Score 41.0
Total Score 79.3

18. Latham 
& Watkins, National

A mere 0.1 points behind Kirkland in 17th place is Latham & Watkins. Though Latham sits atop The Am Law 200, a weak diversity score and a subpar female equity partner score kept it from topping the A-List, too. The firm’s best results came in RPL, pro bono, and associate satisfaction. Scores in all categories remained relatively consistent, varying by less than 3 points year over year.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 89.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 92.5
Diversity Score 68.5
Female Equity Partners Score 35.0
Total Score 79.2

19. Hughes Hubbard 
& Reed, 
New York

A near-perfect score in pro bono and an 18.5-point improvement in associate satisfaction helped Hughes Hubbard climb two spots and regain a spot on the A-List after being knocked off last year. The firm scored in the top quartile of Am Law 200 firms in RPL, but its diversity and female equity partner scores lagged at 63.5 and 48.5, respectively.

RPL Score 83.0
Pro Bono Score 99.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 73.0
Diversity Score 63.5
Female Equity Partners Score 48.5
Total Score 78.6

20. Akin Gump
 Strauss Hauer
 & Feld, 

Strong RPL and pro bono scores, which are weighted twice as heavily as other metrics in A-List calculations, kept Akin Gump in the A-List this year. The firm’s diversity score declined by 11.5 points, and its associate satisfaction dropped by 5.0 points, while its female equity partner score was just 41.0. Overall the firm fell seven places on the A-List, from 13th to 20th place.

RPL Score  
Pro Bono Score 88.5
Associate Satisfaction Score 89.5
Diversity Score 70.5
Female Equity Partners Score 41.0
Total Score 78.3