Debevoise & Plimpton ranked top US firm

Debevoise & Plimpton has trounced New York rival Davis Polk & Wardwell as the leading ‘A-list’ US law firm based on revenue per lawyer, commitment to pro bono, associate satisfaction and diversity.

According to The American Lawyer’s annual ranking of the top 20 US law firms, Debevoise & Plimpton scored highly in each criteria, giving it a winning total of 1,109 points and propelling it into pole position.

Davis Polk, however, dropped from last year’s number one to seventh place.

The American Lawyer awards points based on four criteria, doubling the score for revenue per lawyer and pro bono and then adding points for associate satisfaction and diversity, giving it a total with which to rank firms.

Although both Davis Polk and New York’s Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison made the top 10, with overall scores of 1,024 and 1,025 respectively, the firms’ scores for associate satisfaction were low.
Davis Polk scored 78 and Paul Weiss 64, ahead of The American Lawyer’s much anticipated associate survey, due to be published in October. However, the firms’ leading results in both revenue per lawyer and diversity kept them ensconced in the top reaches of the list.

Of this year’s top 20 premier US firms, there were five new entries, including Howrey Simon Arnold & White and Morrison & Foerster, replacing last year’s high-ranking practices such as Bingham McCutchen, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Hale and Dorr Weil Gotshal & Manges, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Top 10 US firms
Rank Firm Total score RPL score Pro bono score Associate satisfaction score Diversity score
1 Debevoise & Plimpton, New York 1,109 179 197 180 177
2 Heller Ehrman, San Francisco 1,081 178 188 169 180
3 Munger Tolles & Olson, Los Angeles 1,080 190 171 184 174
4 Cleary Gottlieb, New York 1,039 180 192 109 186
5 Latham & Watkins, National 1,029 161 191 170 155
6 Paul Weiss, New York 1,025 194 187 64 199
7 Davis Polk,New York 1,024 197 182 78 188
8 Howrey Simon, Washington DC 1,022 167 190 144 164
9 Patterson Belknap, New York 1,014 170 195 125 159
10 Arnold & Porter, Washington DC 1,008 153 198 120 186
 
Source: The American Lawyer