To find out how third-, fourth-, and fifth-year associates rate their firms as workplaces, our annual midlevel survey examined 12 areas that contribute to job satisfaction. They include relations with partners and other associates, the interest and satisfaction level of the work, training and guidance, policy on billable hours, management’s openness about firm strategies and partnership chances, the firm’s attitude toward pro bono work, compensation and benefits, and the respondents’ inclination to stay at their firm for at least two more years. Respondents graded their firms on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. On this chart, firms with ten or more responses are ranked by their averages on those questions.


Associates Survey 2009: National Rankings

Associates Survey 2009: Results by City

Associates Survey 2009: Results by Size – Am Law 100 and Global 100 Firms

Associates Survey 2009: Results by Size – The Am Law Second Hundred

Associates Survey 2009: Results by Size – Non-Am Law 100 Firms

Associates Survey 2009: Firms from A to K; from L to Z


A Year to Forget
Morale plunged as midlevels worried about whether they’d be the next to go, or whether they’d have any work to do if they stayed.

Fading Away
Am Law 200 firms have laid off almost 3,000 associates this year. Who did it well-and who didn’t?

Down But Not Out
An ex-Brown Rudnick associate’s mantra: "This is just one year that sucks."

A Different Sort of Lawyer
A former Pillsbury first-year finds a place in L.A.’s music scene.

Putting Out A Shingle
In New York, laid-off lawyers struggle to establish their own firm.


We received responses from 38 percent of the 16,254 surveys we sent to third-,fourth-, and fifth-year associates at firms around the globe. Associates returned surveys in March, April, and May amid the turmoil of widespread layoffs.

Each firm on the firmwide rankings chart had responses from ten or more associates. The national score is an average of 12 questions on the survey, including: interest and satisfaction levels of work; benefits and compensation; relations between associates and partners; training and guidance; openness about finances and strategies; billable hours policy; the firm’s attitude toward pro bono work; and the likelihood that associates will be at the firm in two years.

We also ranked firms by city. We require five respondents in a city to qualify for a rank.