The 2021 Most Lists are live

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Your must-read student career resources rank and analyse 100 law firms, 50 chambers and 30 law schools

Legal Cheek has revealed the inside line on firms, chambers and law schools in the 2021 Most Lists.

The law career resources have been updated for the coming year, and include the Firms Most List, Chambers Most List, GDL Most List, LPC Most List and Bar Course Most List.

Students can get the lowdown on life as a lawyer at the UK’s leading corporate law firms in the Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2021.

The list features almost 100 law firms, including all the magic and silver circle, and the major US MoneyLaw firms in London, and can be sorted by many different criteria: from number of training contracts offered to trainee and newly qualified salaries; from diversity to latest retention rates; from average start and finish work time to highest chance of doing an international secondment.

Each firm in the list has a detailed profile, containing a ‘The Legal Cheek View’ analysis of what they’re like as a place to work and how they have been performing recently, alongside an ‘Insider Scorecard’ with the grades (ranging from A* to D) they received in the Legal Cheek Trainee & Junior Lawyer Survey 2020-21. This year’s survey — the largest to date — received over 2,000 responses, and includes new rankings on how well firms transitioned to remote-working in the wake of the coronavirus and how eco-friendly they are.

NEW: The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The Legal Cheek Chambers Most List 2021 features over 50 sets, including all the magic circle, and can be benchmarked by factors including pupillage numbers; size of pupillage awards; gender diversity figures; and proportion of Oxbridge-educated new tenants — plus continue to a individual chambers profile to read ‘The Legal Cheek View’ and Junior Barrister Survey Scorecards. The enhanced profiles have a ‘What the junior barristers say’ section providing prospective pupils with a snapshot of life in chambers.

Both the firm and chambers Scorecards feed into our annual Awards ceremony, the next of which is taking place at Sea Containers, London, on 25 March 2021.

The Legal Cheek GDL, LPC and Bar Course Most Lists 2021 contain information for 30 vocational law schools. They feature a ‘The Legal Cheek View’ write-up for each, plus fees, course sizes, entry requirements, scholarship info and more.

NEW: The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List


Bill Gates

Can you please do a Most List on insufferable law bloggers who post asinine bullshit about their training contracts, their colour-coded GDL notes, and their 2:2 university degrees.

Larry Ellison

Agreed Bill, that would be really helpful.


“Hi guys, I’ll show you how to break into the Magic Circle no matter your Uni. I definitely know this. That will be £24.99 please”

Kirkland NQ

How about most list for Lambos per head? Or most vintage Krug drunk at office parties?

K&E Equity Partner

Yawn. Try harder my little slave.


It would be useful to have a Least List too.


What would be really useful is some additional context around the sets which appear in the ‘most list’.

A young student reading these lists might see sets like 2 Temple Gardens, Littleton and Crown Office Chambers and think that they are of the same ilk or calibre as Blackstone, Fountain Court and Brick Court.

Equally, for some reason, the most list ignores small sets altogether. As a result, it makes no mention of sets like Erskine or any of the IP or Tax sets – sets which are far more prestigious and coveted than many of those which appear on this list.

The unspoken criteria for appearing on this list are that a set should be big (> 20 tenants) and have a large pupillage award. However, even then it misses out a number of large Chancery sets, such as New Square and 4 Stone Buildings, for example.

All in all, this list gives a highly distorted picture of the Bar. The information it contains might well be accurate, but the mechanics underlying it are completely inscrutable, and it’s easy to see how it could mislead pupillage applicants about which are the ‘best’ sets at the bar.


Same with the Firms’ list – plenty of young applicants deriving prestige/quality implications purely from the salary scale. Firms like Akin and V&E have never been of the same calibre as any V10 Firm.

This issue is exacerbated by the fact that the list is perennially outdated, but is presented as an all encompassing trustworthy resource.


Thanks for mentioning the V10 list… I’ve never heard of it before now.

It all looks legit except I’m surprised that V&E is ranked lower than Dentons! Any ideas what they’ve based that on?


It’s the largest US associate survey on the market – 20,000 assocs review fellow firms in terms of prestige and perceived quality in all practice areas. It’s very influential across the pond for laterals and law school first-years picking their summer associate positions.

Idk anything about V&E other than it specialises in O&G and tops associate pay in London so can’t help w that.


Why do Cadwalader never appear on your most list?


Because it’s a shet kaka obscure firm? Lmao


I believe it’s actually because they don’t offer TCs. STB isn’t on there either.


Shoosmiths LPC grant £14k??? That’s nearly their NQ – gotta be incorrect surely?


Isnt latham 130k? Where did you get this figure from?

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