Appellate Hot List

Appellate Hot List

What It Is: Annual list of firms with at least one significant appellate win and that had an impressive track record overall.

Why It Matters To You: Shows you which law firms are on fire that year.

Considerations: The methodology isn’t objective and only about 20 firms receive the honor each year. Thus, repeated appearances on surveys are more important than single appearances.

Created By: The American Lawyer

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Corporate Scorecard

Corporate Scorecard

What It Is: Tracks the transactional practices of leading firms.

Why It Matters To You: For those interested in pursuing corporate or transactional law, this survey can give you a sense of the leading law firms in particular areas of corporate law.

Considerations: This survey only tracks public data. Searchable via practice areas which include IPOs/equities, M&A, private equity, project finance, corporate debt, securities, municipal bonds, EITS, and bankruptcy.

Created By: The American Lawyer

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Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality

Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality

What It Is: This is a list of all the companies and law firms that earned 100% on HRC's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) sorted by industry.

Why It Matters To You: The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, public commitment to LGBTQ equality, responsible citizenship. Both publicly available and self-reported data is evaluated.

Considerations: Participation in the index is voluntary. Companies and law firms evaluated are gathered through Fortune magazine's 1000 largest publicly traded businesses and American Lawyer magazine's top 200 revenue-grossing law firms. In addition, any private-sector for-profit employer with 500 or more full-time employees can request to participate. It is important to note that law firms have only been included in the ranking since 2006.

Created By: Human Rights Campaign

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Mid-Level Associates Survey

Mid-Level Associates Survey

What It Is: Annual survey of thousands of 3rd, 4th, and 5th year associates at 100-150 law firms nationwide.

Why It Matters To You: This survey gives a good sense of what it’s really like at these law firms, including quality of work, firm culture, and training. You’ll learn about whether these firms will help you develop critical skills necessary to advance your career, whether there are opportunities for advancement, and much more.

Considerations: The survey is an opportunity to vent anonymously. Dissatisfied associates might be more likely to complete these surveys than satisfied associates.

Created By: The American Lawyer

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The A-List

The A-List

What It Is: Annual law firm survey promoted as the “decathlon for law firms.”

Why It Matters To You: Unlike other listings, the A-List is intended as a more all-around measure, that takes into account financial performance, but also associate satisfaction, diversity, pro bono efforts, and more.

Considerations: Because of the large number of factors considered, it may be more difficult for law firms to deliberately influence their rankings.

Created By: The American Lawyer

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The Am Law 100

The Am Law 100

What It Is: Top 100 performers from annual survey of law firms nationwide, with focus on key financial metrics: gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, and profits per partner. Separate rankings are available for each metric, as well as an overall performer ranking.

Why It Matters To You: In addition to showing individual firms’ rise and fall, the Am Law 100 reveals many trends in law firm performance that have direct and indirect impact on legal hiring, compensation, and opportunities for advancement.

Considerations: Law firms are very aware of this ranking, and do what they can to influence their data. Some industry insiders have questioned whether such focus on these four financial metrics (which have changed the business of law) is healthy for law firms or for the legal industry.

Created By: American Lawyer

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The Am Law 200

The Am Law 200

What It Is: The second tier of top performers from annual survey of law firms nationwide, with focus on key financial metrics: gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, and profits per partner. Separate rankings are available for each metric, as well as an overall performance ranking.

Why It Matters To You: While the Am Law 100 focuses on nationwide firms, the Am Law 200 gives numbers on many regional powerhouses. These are often up-and-coming law firms that may reach the Am Law 100, become merger or acquisition targets, or remain regional players. In addition to showing individual firms’ rise and fall, the Am Law 200 reveals many trends in law firm performance that have direct and indirect impact on legal hiring, compensation, and opportunities for advancement.

Considerations: Again, law firms are very aware of this ranking, and do what they can to influence their data. Some industry insiders have questioned whether such focus on these four financial metrics (which have changed the business of law) is healthy for law firms or for the legal industry.

Created By: The American Lawyer

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The Global 100

The Global 100

What It Is: Worldwide annual survey of law firms, with focus on key financial metrics: gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, and profits per partner. Separate rankings are available for each metric, as well as an overall performance ranking.

Why It Matters To You: Like many other businesses, law firms are becoming more global. The Global 100 reveals many trends in law firm performance that have direct and indirect impact on legal hiring, compensation, and opportunities for advancement.

Considerations: Again, law firms are very aware of this ranking, and do what they can to influence their data. Some industry insiders have questioned whether such focus on these four financial metrics (which have changed the business of law) is healthy for law firms or for the legal industry.

Created By: The American Lawyer

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Vault Best Law Firms for Diversity

Vault Best Law Firms for Diversity

What It Is: This ranking is based on each firm associates’ ranking of how the firm does at creating, maintaining, and fostering a diverse workforce.

Why It Matters To You: Associates rate their own firms on how effective they are at fostering a diverse working environment.

Considerations: The ranking includes separate categories for diversity as it relates to minorities, women, LGBT individuals, individuals with disabilities, and military veterans. The formula weighs the five categories evenly for their overall ranking.


Created By: Vault

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Vault Best Law Firms in Each Practice Area

Vault Best Law Firms in Each Practice Area

What It Is: Yearly rankings of firms by practice areas ranging from Antitrust to Environmental Law to IP Boutiques and everything in between.

Why It Matters To You: These firms were voted strongest in each practice area by associates working in that area at peer firms.

Considerations: To reach their rankings, associates are invited to vote for up to three firms in their practice area, but can’t nominate their own. It is important to consider that this is the only criteria considered in the ranking. It is also useful to note there is a significant backlog of years and it is easy to look at compare which have firms have risen and fallen over the years.

Created By: Vault

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Vault Best Law Firms in Each U.S. Region

Vault Best Law Firms in Each U.S. Region

What It Is: Yearly ranking of firms by regions, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain States, New York, Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Texas, and Washington, D.C.

Why It Matters To You: Associates rate the reputations of peer firms in their own region. These rankings reveal the most prestigious law firms by region across the U.S.

Considerations: Each regional ranking is based on associates who actually work in that region. There is a significant backlog of years in order to easily trace the rise and fall of various regional law firms and includes more specific regions than a lot of the other rankings that either focus solely on metropolises or combine large swaths of the country into neat categories.


Created by: Vault

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Vault Best Law Firms to Work For

Vault Best Law Firms to Work For

What It Is: Annual ranking of U.S. law firms, rated on lawyer experience by law firm associates worldwide.

Why It Matters To You: Rankings are calculated for overall quality of life, weighing factors like satisfaction; firm culture; hours; compensation; substantive work; business outlook; career outlook; associate/partner relations; transparency; formal and informal training; pro bono; and overall diversity. The ranking is also easily sortable by these factors so you can choose which qualities matter most.

Considerations: Potential a great overview and apples-to-apples comparison of what’s it’s actually like to work there.

Created By: The Vault

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Vault Law 100

Vault Law 100

What It Is: Annual ranking of U.S. law firms, rated on prestige by some 18,000 (give or take) associates worldwide.

Why It Matters To You: In addition to revealing the changing fortunes of law firms, the Vault Law 100 shows trends in what law firm associates think of BigLaw firms.

Considerations: This survey focuses on the opinions of law firm associates—not law firm partners or clients—who may not have sufficient information to make judgments about firms prestige in the marketplace. 

Created By: Vault

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