The American Lawyer magazine released its seventh-annual ranking of the nation’s elite law firms. Munger, Tolles & Olson has earned the top spot with a #1 ranking for a second straight year, a first for a California-based firm. This marks Munger Tolles' fifth appearance in the top-10 of the “A-List,” placing first in 2008, third in both 2007 and 2004, and eighth in 2005.
Munger Tolles' overall score was more than 34 points higher than the list’s second placed firm. Munger Tolles also scored higher in diversity than the rest of the top-20 A-List firms - a significant factor contributing to its #1 ranking. A renewed commitment to “look more systematically at diversity” and a desire to take the firms diversity efforts “to another level” led the firm to hire a consultant and host day-long diversity symposium at the firm’s annual attorney retreat.
The “A-List” ranks law firms based on a weighted combination of four core professional values: revenue per lawyer, pro bono practice, associate satisfaction and workplace diversity. According to The American Lawyer, the “A-List” “. . . isn’t just a report card on firm statistics. It’s a measure of how well firms balance moneymaking with the priorities of service and collegiality that used to distinguish the legal profession.” The Wall Street Journal legal blog finds that the spirit of the list “rewards firms for more than just ringing up the billables in a way that we think would be helpful to law students, aspiring laterals, recruiters, and the like. Looking for a firm that’s big on diversity and is less likely to lay you off, check the A-List. How about a firm that will give you both training and pro-bono experience? Again, check the A-List.”
The American Lawyer is “the legal industry’s leading monthly magazine - read by partners at corporate law firms, in-house counsel, government lawyers, and litigators at firms of all sizes.”