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8. Arnold & Porter
Arnold & Porter
Average total pay: $172,192
For: Associate*

Best Companies rank: 21
Headquarters: Washington, DC

Starting salaries for attorneys at the highest-ranking law firm on the Best Companies to Work For list are a healthy $160,000 on average. But a spirit of giving back is prevalent: Lawyers average 132 pro bono hours a year. 80 partners have held government positions.

The firm also is known for its diversity. More than 20% of the staff are African-American. Of 195 partners, 10% are minorities, 16% are women. Arnold & Porter is one of the few law firms with an on-site child care center; 43 children are currently enrolled. Their recruiting practices may help: Employee referrals are the source of 8% of their new hires, and the firm encourages them with referral bonuses of as much as $15,000.

NEXT: Adobe Systems
Last updated February 05 2009: 1:03 PM ET
*Most common salaried job

An earlier version listed an incorrect pay number for Chesapeake Energy. The correct amount is $120,576, not $178,108, which moves Chesapeake from #7 among top payers to #24. The rankings have been adjusted accordingly.
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