Here at Above the Law, we’ve spent the past week or two discussing what makes Biglaw associates satisfied with their jobs. From their compensation to their firm’s commitment to their career development to their interaction with partners, there’s a whole lot at play when it comes to keeping associates happy and fulfilled professionally. But where in the U.S. are midlevel associates the most satisfied, and which firms are doing the best in each major market? Of course there’s a ranking for that, so let’s dig in.
As part of the American Lawyer’s Midlevel Associates Survey, firms were assessed on several aspects of job satisfaction and graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. For the city-by-city satisfaction ranking, firms were rated by location, listing which associates are most satisfied across a particular city. As noted by Am Law, a change in location could mean a world of difference when it comes to professional happiness.
[A] lawyer’s experience at a firm can vary wildly depending on the practice they are in, the partner they work for or the office where they practice. A satellite office may offer a different experience than a headquarters, a full-service office may offer a different feel than one that houses only a few practices. …
[A]s the various city rankings will show, firms don’t always do well across all of their locales.
So, where can we find the most satisfied midlevels? It may be time for lawyers to giddyap and head down south, because it looks like they’re the happiest in Dallas, Texas, where the average satisfaction sore for the city was a 4.557. Here are the rest of the cities, in order of overall satisfaction.
- Dallas, TX: 4.557
- Salt Lake City, UT: 4.538
- Philadelphia, PA: 4.467
- Palo Alto, CA: 4.444
- Denver, CO: 4.439
- Houston, TX: 4.433
- San Francisco, CA: 4.405
- Atlanta, GA: 4.389
- Los Angeles, CA: 4.382
- New York, NY: 4.368
- Chicago, IL: 4.356
- Boston, MA: 4.350
- Washington, D.C.: 4.329
- Charlotte, NC: 4.298
- Miami, FL: 4.205
Associates in some of the most major markets of all are the least satisfied, with Miami coming in last place for midlevel satisfaction. And here we thought the city was becoming “Wall Street south” (but by the looks of it, associates in “Wall Street north” aren’t that satisfied, either).
That leads us to our final question: at what firms are midlevels the most satisfied in each city? Let’s find out. We’ll use the same order as above, so you can see where associates are truly the most satisfied across firms.
- Dallas, TX: Kirkland (4.785)
- Salt Lake City, UT: Kirkland (4.782)
- Philadelphia, PA: Dechert (4.648)
- Palo Alto, CA: Morrison & Foerster (4.799)
- Denver, CO: Gibson Dunn (4.667)
- Houston, TX: Gibson Dunn (4.833)
- San Francisco, CA: O’Melveny & Myers (4.854)
- Atlanta, GA: Baker & Hostetler (4.833)
- Los Angeles, CA: Baker & Hostetler (4.983)
- New York, NY: Blank Rome (4.850)
- Chicago, IL: McDermott (4.774)
- Boston, MA: Morgan Lewis (4.790)
- Washington, D.C.: O’Melveny & Myers (4.926)
- Charlotte, NC: Dechert (4.475)
- Miami, FL: Greenberg Traurig (4.470)
Click here to see how other firms did in the ranking.
Did your firm make the cut? Do you agree with these satisfaction rankings by city? Please let us know what you think. You can email us at email@example.com or send a text at (646) 820-8477. Thanks so much.
City-by-City Satisfaction: Midlevels Rate Firms By Location [American Lawywer]
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.