New York’s 100 Largest Law Firms (2021)


There are many different and exciting ways to classify law firms. How prestigious are they? How much money do they earn? How much net money do partners earn? How big are they?

Yes, size matters, especially after a year of fast and furious lateral movement between companies. Sure, there was a lot of attrition in 2021, but companies were continuing to grow their employee numbers thanks to the rapid influx of new associates in the ongoing talent war.

The New York Law Journal recently released its annual NYLJ 100, a ranking of New York’s top law firms covering the previous calendar year. Luckily, many Biglaw firms have increased their number of employees in New York by more than 10% in 2021, and the top 100 firms in the city have seen an increase of approximately 2% in the number of lawyers compared to their 2020 numbers. If you’ve ever wondered about the number of people, this ranking is for you.

The NYLJ 100 tracks the number of full-time equivalent attorneys in firms’ New York offices last year and ranks them based on their headcount in the state. In total, about 24,208 attorneys worked in the New York offices of the 100 largest law firms in the state last year….

The 15 largest companies (numbers show lawyers in New York) are not surprising. Let’s take a moment to admire Manhattan’s Biglaw behemoths:

1. Paul Weiss: 812
2. Kirkland and 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. Strings & Grays: 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 company wins the award for putting the “fat” of Biglaw in the Big Apple.

Head to the NYLJ if you’re curious about companies ranked 16-100.

Scramble for Associates, Laterals lead to bigger New York offices [New York Law Journal]

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is an editor at Above the Law, where she has worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so feel free to email her with tips, questions, comments or criticism. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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