Firm Highlights

In the 2023 Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, Williams & Connolly received the following regional, quality of life, and practice area rankings:

  • #1 Selectivity
  • #1 White-Collar Defense & Internal Investigations
  • #2 Appellate Litigation
  • #3 Washington, D.C. Law Firm
  • #3 Best Summer Associate Program 
  • #8 General Commercial Litigation
  • #8 Career Outlook

Associates quoted in Vault surveys had this to say:

Firm Culture

  • The small teams and the fact that everyone is located in the same office contribute to developing close professional and personal relationships with your coworkers.”
  • The work is topnotch, the environment is pleasant, and the people are both brilliant and friendly. It’s hard to imagine a better place to litigate.”
  • Partners and senior associates genuinely care about getting opportunities for younger lawyers…there is no sense of scarcity/competition for substantive, interesting work.”

Hiring Process

  • The firm is looking for someone with great credentials, but great credentials are not enough… Because we get all our partners from within, the goal is to find associates who we can imagine as future partners at the firm.”

Associate/Partner Relations

  • I have found partners to be very supportive and willing to ‘get in the trenches’ on the nitty gritty work with associates, as well as willing to distribute substantive opportunities.”

Quality of Work

  • Cases are leanly staffed, so associates are heavily involved in cases and can find many opportunities to be key point people on teams.”
  • The work is consistently engaging and intellectually rewarding, the people are friendly and interesting, and the firm’s commitment to excellence inspires you to do your best work.”

Wellness Efforts

  • The firm has been focusing more on mental health support and resources, which is a great thing. [A]ll of the partners I have worked with prioritize wellness… and have been incredibly supportive of associates and staff whenever someone needs to take time to focus on personal or family wellness issues.”

Training & Mentoring

  • [B]ecause of the small case teams and lack of hierarchy, even brand new associates work directly with senior partners.”
  • You would have to go out of your way to avoid developing mentor relationships with the partners and senior associates at this firm.”

Career Outlook

  • Promotion to partner seems very realistic for those who choose to stay and want to make partner. Our partner-to-associate ratio is 1.5:1, and it’s not unusual for us to make five or six partners a year.”
  • It’s telling that very, very few associates leave for other law firms in our region.”

Pro Bono Commitment

  • The firm encouraged me to pursue pro bono opportunities and freely allowed me to take on a pro bono appointment to represent an indigent client in his appeal to a United States Court of Appeals. The firm allowed me to be the principal drafter of the briefs in that case and will allow me to present oral argument.”

Diversity Efforts

  • There is a huge focus on diversity—the firm doesn’t just pay lip service to diversity issues but takes concrete action. We have a chief diversity partner who leads our diversity and inclusion committee, regular speakers and events, an associate mentoring program, etc. The diversity committee weighs in on many aspects of firm life (including the associate review process).”

Williams & Connolly also has been:

  • Named among Practice Groups of the Year for Trials, Appellate, Life Sciences, Media & Entertainment, and Health Care, 2021—Law 360
  • Ranked among leading firms nationwide for Appellate, Corporate Crime & Investigations, Antitrust, First Amendment, General Commercial, Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment, Products Liability, and Securities Litigation, 2022—Chambers USA
  • Named “Washington D.C. Firm of the Year,” 2022—Benchmark Litigation
  • Five partners named among Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2022; Five partners named among Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2021 and 2022—Benchmark Litigation
  • Named to “Appellate Hot List,” 2021—The National Law Journal
  • “Litigation Department of the Year – Products Liability,” 2021—The National Law Journal
  • Ranked Among Top Pro Bono Firms, 2021—The American Lawyer and Washington Business Journal
  • More than 190 Williams & Connolly lawyers have served as law clerks to federal or state judges.

Williams & Connolly partners have served on the boards of trustees or executive committees of Yale Law School, Georgetown University, University of Chicago Law School, Duke University, Duke Law School, Haverford College, Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, Holy Cross College, Beloit College, Pitzer College, Marymount University, St. Alban's School, National Cathedral School, Sidwell Friends School, Georgetown Day School, St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Beauvoir School, Gerald R. Ford Foundation, Air Force Academy Foundation, Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, The George Washington University Cancer Center, Corcoran Gallery of Art, District of Columbia Control Board, District of Columbia Sports Commission, American Friends of Cambridge University, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, Center for National Policy, Washington Performing Arts Society, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, D.C. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Sanford Institute (Duke University), Washington Convention Center Authority, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, Washington Council of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Center for Applied Research in Apostolate, and Cleveland Park Historical Society, and have been among the founders of the Thurgood Marshall Academy Charter School in Anacostia.

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