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by Nancy Vesta | July 01, 2024


The five top-ranked law firms for Privacy & Data Security based on Vault’s 2025 Best Firms to Work For practice area rankings were Cooley, Hogan Lovells, Perkins Coie LLP, Wilson Sonsini, and Morrison Foerster.


The No. 1 law firm in Vault’s Privacy & Data Security prestige rankings, Cooley, is also the No. 1 firm in Vault’s Best Law Firms for Emerging Companies & Venture Capital rankings. Approximately 1,400 attorneys working in 13 U.S. and 6 international Cooley offices advise clients, many in tech sectors, in a plethora of practices, including many in the Vault practice area rankings. For example, Cooley is the No. 5 firm in Vault’s Intellectual Property rankings and the No. 9 firm in Vault’s Clean Tech/Renewable Energy rankings. Associates are welcoming, and partners work alongside them in an environment with a seemingly flattened hierarchy. Cooley attorneys earn market compensation to handle interesting matters with innovative clients. They need to meet the 1,950-hour billable requirement to earn a bonus. Clearly, Cooley attorneys enjoy the collaborative culture at their firm, which ranks among the best in more than one-half of Vault’s regional rankings: Northern California (No. 3), Mountain States (No. 4), Pacific Northwest (No. 4), Boston (No. 8), Southern California (No. 11), Chicago (No. 21), Washington, DC (No. 24), and New York (No. 25). The prospects for promotion are solid, with equity partnership considered attainable starting in the tenth year. Should anyone want to leave this No. 24 Vault Law 100 firm, in-house positions are available.


Hogan Lovells

Formed by merger in 2010, Hogan Lovells exerts influence in multiple practice areas in 46 offices around the world. It secured the No. 14 spot in Vault’s International practice rankings, as well as the No. 2 spot in Vault’s Privacy & Data Security rankings. In addition, Hogan Lovells holds two other top 10 spots in the Vault’s practice area rankings: No. 4 for Healthcare and No. 10 for Appellate Litigation. It is also a Vault top 25 firm in Environmental Law, (No. 14), Antitrust (No. 19), General Commercial Litigation (No. 22) and M&A (No. 22). Hogan Lovells employs 1,400 lawyers in its 15 U.S. offices and ranks No. 6 in Vault’s Mountain State regional rankings. Hogan Lovells attorneys consider their firm to be friendly and kind, consistent with the firm’s long history of caring for others through pro bono work, which is celebrated. The firm strictly adheres to a 2,000-hour billable requirement for a bonus and a three-day in-office requirement, but associates appreciate the early opportunities for substantive work and long-term opportunities. The track to equity partner goes through counsel and non-equity partnership, which can be maintained for those not seeking partnership. In a strong show of firm support, an advisor is dedicated to help attorneys develop a strategy for finding a position inside or outside the firm.

Perkins Coie LLP

Another large firm with specific impact in the Pacific Northwest and American Mountain States (at No. 1 and No. 2, respectfully, in the Vault regional rankings), Perkins Coie stands at No. 3 among firms ranked by Vault as the best for Privacy & Data Security. Similar to its counterparts on this list, Perkins Coie is a top 30 firm in Vault’s Environmental Law, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital, IP, and Clean Tech/Renewable Energy practice rankings. Unique among the other firms in the Vault top five for Privacy & Data Security, Perkins Coie ranks high in Vault’s Products Liability rankings at No. 23. This firm traditionally employs approximately 1,000 attorneys across 17 U.S. and 2 international offices. Over 100 years old, Perkins Coie represents many of today’s megafirm clients, such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Starbucks.

Wilson Sonsini

With headquarters in Palo Alto, Wilson Sonsini is the No. 4 firm in both Vault’s Privacy & Data Security practice area rankings and Best Law Firms in Northern California. It sits at the No. 2 spot in Vault’s Emerging Companies & Venture Capital rankings and is among the top 20 firms in Vault’s IP (No. 11),  Antitrust (No. 17), and General Corporate Practice rankings (No. 18). Associates describe the atmosphere as “chill,” citing its flexible work arrangements and organically formed relationships. The billable hour requirement is a manageable 1,950 hours with no cap on pro bono hours that count toward this goal. The path to the one-tier partner level is possible over time, and counsel positions can be held long term. The prospects for moving in-house with a prestigious client are excellent. The 950 attorneys at Wilson Sonsini work with companies, many in the tech industry, through each stage of their growth, and therefore, attorneys with business experience are encouraged to apply.

Morrison Foerster

Similar to the other firms in Vault’s top five Firms for Privacy and Data Security, Morrison Foerster has a profound West Coast presence (Vault’s No. 1 Northern California, No. 9 Southern California, and No. 11 Mountain State firm) , and it was also ranked in the top 25 among East Coast firms (No. 18 in Boston, No. 22 in Washington, DC, and No. 24 in New York). Moreover, it is ranked No. 22 in the Vault Law 100 prestige rankings and in the top 10 firms for IP (No. 6) and Emerging Companies & Venture Capital (No. 8). It holds the No. 16 spot for Project Finance, No. 18 for Securities/Capital Markets, No. 24 for M&A, and No. 25 for Private Equity. It is in the Vault top 30 for General Commercial Litigation and General Corporate Practice. The firm employs approximately 1,000 friendly attorneys. Associates receive market compensation, which is based on a billable hour requirement of 1,800 hours and 150 hours dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion and pro bono work, for a total of 1,950 hours. In addition to its offices in Los Angeles and Palo Alto, MoFo has established practices in 8 other U.S. cities and 8 offices in international locations. The recent additional of a non-equity partner track has increased the likelihood that attorneys currently in counsel roles can move into partnership positions. Attorneys looking for in-house opportunities have the full support of partners.


The top five firms in Vault’s 2025 Privacy & Data Security rankings are the same as they were in 2024, with some changes in their relative positions. All these firms are large with prestige rankings in multiple Vault categories. Moreover, they are all top 40 Vault Law 100 firms operating out of international offices and in locations throughout the United States, with a particularly strong presence in the American West. Identifying commonalities and differences among large firms with multiple practice areas can be a challenge, as cultures can vary by location and practice groups. Therefore, we encourage you to review the Vault profiles of each of these and other interesting firms to find the practices, locations, and culture that most appeal to you. Vault profiles provide information about hiring practices, interview questions, firm culture, compensation, and other quality-of-life measures.

Best of Luck from all of us at Vault Law on your legal job search!