America's Top Law Firms of 2024

TIME and Statista have named the 150 most recommended law firms in the country

How TIME and Statista Determined America's Top Law Firms of 2024

Is the U.S. in a lawyer labor shortage? A new study from Statista and TIME shows that the majority of surveyed lawyers are finding it difficult to find and hire competent recruits.

The survey, to determine America’s Top Law Firms of 2024, was sent to more than 50,000 attorneys via company websites, publications, and job networks like LinkedIn. Participants were asked to recommend law firms they had worked with, excluding their own, and then answer questions about the greatest challenges facing their industry. The 150 law firms that made the final list include Sidley Austin; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and Debevoise & Plimpton.

But the survey participants’ biggest concern was a shortage of skilled employees for hire: 54% of respondents said it would affect their law firm going forward. “Competent paralegals are hard to find, and young people tend to treat the job as a hobby rather than a career,” wrote one respondent. “Pandemic has stunted the growth of younger attorneys and reduced courtroom experience,” wrote another.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to courts’ being backlogged and processing cases much more slowly, many participants said. “State and federal courts are overburdened and understaffed,” wrote one respondent.

Finally, the survey showed that lawyers are closely monitoring how AI may impact their jobs—but for now, most don’t believe that it will be capable of replacing them. While 38% of respondents said that up to 10% of their tasks could be performed by AI, only 23% believe that AI will be able to do 30% or more of their tasks.

Some respondents, however, were excited about integrating AI into their jobs, even suggesting that it could help offset the lawyer shortage. “AI is going to revolutionize the practice of law,” one lawyer wrote, “replacing tedious work and allowing attorneys to use their bandwidth for more creative and specialized matters.” Andrew R. Chow