There are many different and exciting ways to rank law firms. How prestigious are they? How much money are they making? How much take-home cash do partners earn? How big are they?
Yes, size matters, especially after a year where lateral movement between firms was fast and furious. Sure, there was a lot of attrition in 2021, but firms were still putting up huge head count numbers thanks to the rapid influx of new associates in the ongoing talent wars.
The New York Law Journal recently unleashed its annual NYLJ 100, a ranking of the largest law firms in New York covering the previous calendar year. As luck would have it, many Biglaw firms increased their New York City head counts by more than 10 percent in 2021, and the top 100 firms in the city netted about a 2% increase in attorneys over their 2020 numbers. If you’ve ever wondered about head counts, this is the ranking for you.
The NYLJ 100 tracks the number of full-time equivalent lawyers in firms’ New York offices last year and ranks them by their headcounts in the state. In total, about 24,208 attorneys were working in the New York offices of the state’s 100 largest law firms last year….
The top 15 biggest firms (numbers show attorneys in New York) are not surprising. Let’s take a moment to gawk at Manhattan’s Biglaw behemoths:
1. Paul Weiss: 812
2. Kirkland & Ellis: 745
3. Davis Polk: 733
4. Simpson Thacher: 662
5. Skadden: 628
6. Weil Gotshal: 611
7. Latham: 598
8. Debevoise: 552
9. Sullivan & Cromwell: 529
10. Milbank: 485
11. Cravath: 447
12. Cleary Gottlieb: 426
12. Ropes & Gray: 426
14. Sidley: 424
15. Fried Frank: 411
Congratulations to Paul Weiss for once again employing more lawyers in New York than any other firm. This firm wins the award for putting the “big” in Biglaw in the Big Apple.
Head to the NYLJ if you’re curious about the firms ranked 16-100.
Scramble for Associates, Laterals Leads to Bigger New York Offices [New York Law Journal]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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