Vault ranks Wachtell as most prestigious US firm

June 21, 2012 The annual Vault Rankings, which determine the relative prestige of US law firms on the basis of nearly 17,000 surveys sent to associates, have been published.

The top ten law firms in the ranking are:
1 Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz
2 Cravath, Swaine & Moore
3 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Affiliates
4 Sullivan & Cromwell
5 Davis Polk & Wardwell
6 Weil, Gotshal & Manges
7 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
8 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
9 Kirkland & Ellis
10 Latham & Watkins

Above the Law points out that associates appear to have rewarded firms that skimped on bonuses with high ranking, missing a rare opportunity to voice their protest against firms that are ever demanding more work for less money.

The article acknowledges that the ephemeral quality of ‘prestige’ is difficult to pin down, and that a calculation of prestige is based upon such huge a variety of factors - many of them subjective - that even an attempt at a quantitative analysis will necessarily contain flaws and stimulate differences of opinion.

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