Practice Perspectives: Vault’s Guide to Legal Practice Areas, 2016 Edition

Practice Perspectives: Vault’s Guide to Legal Practice Areas is the insider’s guide to what it’s really like to be a practicing attorney in 20 different areas of the law. Whether you’re preparing for on-campus interviews, about to begin as a summer associate, or looking to make a lateral move, Practice Perspectives is a vital career exploration tool.

In this guide, you will find more than 35 interviews with attorneys who are at the top of their fields at some of the most prestigious law firms in the country. We asked these partners and associates all about their specific practice areas—the types of clients they represent, the best and worst aspects of working in their chosen fields, and what misconceptions exist about their specialties. We invited the top firms in each practice area, as rated by more than 17,000 associates from across the country in our 2015 Vault Associate Survey, to participate in this guide. Each year, Vault ranks law firms in a variety of practice areas based on the views of associates practicing in those areas. We invited the top ten firms in each category to participate in Practice Perspectives.

The importance of finding the right practice area for you can’t be understated—switching fields down the line, while not impossible, is not easy. Take the time now to do as much research as possible, and don’t rule out areas outside your comfort zone—a field you don’t know much about yet might turn out to be the perfect fit for you.

Practice Perspectives: Vault’s Guide to Legal Practice Areas is sponsored by:

Allen & Overy LLP

Bracewell LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Cooley LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Desmarais LLP

Fenwick & West LLP

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Knobbe Martens

Kobre & Kim

Mayer Brown LLP

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

MoloLamken LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Paul Hastings LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

White & Case LLP