The stories and commentaries have been flooding in now that U.S. News and Best Lawyers released the inaugural edition of the Best Law Firms rankings. These rankings have been highly anticipated by many in the legal industry and especially at law firms.
Best Law Firms contains national rankings of 583 law firms in 39 legal practice areas. In addition, these 583 law firms are also part of the rankings that in total cover 8,782 law firms in 81 practice areas in 171 metropolitan areas and seven states.
View the methodology for complete lists of the practice areas and the metropolitan areas and states used in the rankings. The methodology also offers details about how the Best Law Firms rankings were compiled and calculated.
Full data is available online for the law firms that received rankings, from the largest firms in the country to hundreds of one-person and two-person law firms, providing a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that is unprecedented—both in the range of firms represented and in the range of qualitative and quantitative data used to develop the rankings. The national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, on sale September 27.
So far the commentary about the new rankings has been mostly positive. The early reviews and articles generally recognize the amount of work that went into producing these rankings, which are the most comprehensive law firm rankings ever published in terms of number or firms, practice areas, and locations. Some snippets:
Above the Law: "U.S. News Launches First Official Law Firm Rankings" thinks these new rankings could have a big impact on how companies choose law firms to represent them. "Because if clients, big or small, rich or middle-class, take the U.S. News Best Law Firm rankings with anything approaching the faith with which prospective law students take the U.S. News Law School rankings, it's a game changer. A total game changer. You think that a corporate General Counsel wants to sit in front of his board and argue that they should give their bet-the-company matter to a firm that U.S. News ranks as "second tier"?"
The New York Times DealBook: "Law Firms' Newest Worry: U.S. News" commented that "whether these rankings have anywhere near the impact of the magazine's school listings remains to be seen. But their mere existence guarantees that prospective clients and law students will use them as a data point in making decisions about who to hire or where to work."
U.S. News believes these rankings are a natural extension of the Best Law Schools rankings that we publish annually. Since a large percentage of law school graduates go to work at firms, we believe these new rankings and other information about working at law firms will provide invaluable insights to help lawyers pick the best firms for which to work.
Other media coverage of these rankings: