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Virginia law firms make ‘prestige’ ranking

Oh, those lists and rankings. They’re irresistible.

Today’s entry comes from Vault.com, which has just released its latest “Prestige” index of the “Top 100 Law Firms for 2011.”

According to Vault’s January-through-April survey of 15,000 law associates, New York law firms still have a lock on the top rankings, notwithstanding attrition in the associate ranks.

Two Richmond-based firms broke into the top 100, according to Vault. Hunton & Williams came in at Number 71, up three spots from last year. McGuireWoods LLP stayed steady at Number 82.

The reported “buzz” on H&W: “Diverse,” “great Southern firm,” “stuffy” and “big market firm in small towns.” The firm’s “downers” included “frantic deadlines,” a “secretive bonus structure” and “too much power in Richmond.”

McGuireWoods drew praise as a “Virginia powerhouse and friendly,” and “good firm, good people,” but also was dissed as “old school, boring” and “average, trying to be national.”

The survey highlights “the ascent of litigation-focused firms,” according to Vault’s overall analysis, with litigation boutiques competing with large full-service firms for top legal talent.
By Deborah Elkins

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