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9. Arnold & Porter
Arnold & Porter
Average total pay: $171,074
For: Associate*
Best companies rank: 65

Employees looking to escape the typical law-firm pressure cooker might find Arnold & Porter's generous leave policies appealing: Staffers can take up to 18 weeks' paid maternity or adoption leave, and new dads or anyone who needs to take care of a seriously ill family member can take six weeks off with full pay.

Meanwhile, attorneys who just want to take a break for any reason can take an unpaid three-year leave of absence as long as they're in good standing; the Washington, D.C.-based firm will even pay their bar dues while they're away.

Arnold & Porter keeps an eye on industry surveys to make sure attorney salaries compare favorably to rival local firms. After two years on board, employees can enroll in a 401(k) plan; the firm contributes 7.5% of pay. Seniority is rewarded with every five-year anniversary: Employees are recognized at an awards ceremony and get bonuses ranging from $300 to $3,000.

NEXT: Brocade Communications Systems

Last updated January 26 2010: 11:14 AM ET
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