Survey Identifies Most-Arrogant Firms

by lawshucks on November 17, 2009

Image: Papa Mike's

Image: Papa Mike's

We’re far too poor to afford the full report, so we have to rely on Law360′s excerpt of BTI Consulting’s ranking of the most arrogant firms.

The eight firms topping the list are regulars on this site.

After the jump, we summarize them and cross-reference to some other interesting data.





Skadden topped the list.

Baker & McKenzieCravathKing & Spalding,  Kirkland & EllisLatham & WatkinsSullivan & Cromwell, and Vinson & Elkins were in the second tier of haughtiness.

Far be it from us to say that some firms’ arrogance is more justified than others’, but a few of those firms seem to be acting above their place.

Not that this is the basis for our opinion, but let’s start with the firms’ layoff numbers as reported on the Law Shucks Layoff Tracker (and don’t forget, you can search by firm in the raw data):

  • Baker & McKenzie (6 reports, 323 people)
  • Cravath (1 for 25)
  • King & Spalding (1 for 122)
  • Kirkland & Ellis (3 for 155)
  • Latham & Watkins (1 for 440)
  • Skadden (2 for 80)
  • Sullivan & Cromwell (1 for 30)
  • Vinson & Elkins (nada)

Those are total number of people, i.e., staff and lawyers.

What about Vault rankings? Those are generally considered the rankings of record for firms’ prestige. So here are our arrogant eight ranked by prestige:

  • Cravath (#2)
  • Sullivan & Cromwell (#3)
  • Skadden (#4)
  • Latham & Watkins (#7)
  • Kirkland & Ellis (#10)
  • King & Spalding (#42)
  • Baker & McKenzie (#44)
  • Vinson & Elkins (#53)

As Law360 notes,

“This conversation brings to mind the aphorism that ‘It ain’t bragging if you can do it,’” [Gary] Klein [founder and president of attorney recruiting firm Klein Landau & Romm Inc.] said. “One client’s view of arrogance is another client’s view that ‘The firm just saved me $100 million.’”

While such impressions probably don’t do any damage in isolation, Rynowecer said, too many instances of arrogance can hurt.

“At some point you’re likely to piss somebody off,” he said. “Too many cases of being arrogant are going to hurt you — because word spreads very quickly. The client is the ultimate judge.”

That’s a risk you can run when everyone thinks you’re top 10. If you’re not, this should probably be a wakeup call.

  • LearnedHandSolo

    way to pwn harry reid!

  • LearnedHandSolo

    way to pwn harry reid!

  • lawfrog

    I Carolyn Lamm puts White and Case on the list all by herself with this letter:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/11/13/

    She compares herself to John Adams and Barack Obama because of her noble service as a lobbyist for the authoritarian Uzbek regime.

  • lawfrog

    I Carolyn Lamm puts White and Case on the list all by herself with this letter:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/11/13/

    She compares herself to John Adams and Barack Obama because of her noble service as a lobbyist for the authoritarian Uzbek regime.

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