Seeking Info about Life INSIDE BigLaw?

If you want to know what BigLaw associates say about the “quality of life inside” the firms they work for, check out the newly-released Vault 2012 “Best Law Firms to Work For”(find the complete rankings here).

You’ve heard about the grueling hours, tight deadlines and demanding work, but the atmosphere and conditions inside firms can and does vary; the associates at some firms are more satisfied than others. As the new Vault survey reveals, when it comes to associate satisfaction, one firm stands out:  Williams & Connolly.

Joining Williams & Connolly as the top Vault 2012 Best Firms to Work For are the following firms:

1. Williams & Connolly LLP
2. Ropes & Gray LLP
3. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
4. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. 
5. Foley Hoag LLP
6. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
7. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
8. Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
9. Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP
10. Fish & Richardson P.C.

Just what criteria are used to compile the list? Vault describes the survey in the following way:

The quality of life rankings go behind the law firm doors through insider perspectives on law firm life. Associates provide their opinions of their law firms on a variety of topics, including Overall Satisfaction, Associate/Partner Relations, Compensation, Firm Culture, Formal Training, Informal Training, Green Initiatives, Hours, Office Space, Pro Bono and Selectivity. Vault analyzes these responses and determines the Best Law Firms to Work For based on the following formula:

40 percent satisfaction
10 percent hours
10 percent pay
10 percent associate/partner relations
5 percent diversity (overall)
5 percent formal training
5 percent informal training
5 percent pro bono
10 percent business outlook.

According to Mary Kate Sheridan, Vault’s Law Editor, ”Williams and Connolly clinched the top spot for quality of life (Ropes & Gray held the No. 1 spot for the past two years and this year is No. 2). . . Overall, Williams & Connolly associates seem to feel appreciated and respected for their work, are pleased with their relationships with firm partners and are enthusiastic about the level of responsibility that they receive, even at junior levels.”

Read more at Vault’s 2012 Best Law Firms to Work For