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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Diversity Scorecard

Diversity Scorecard

What It Is: Annual law firm survey to measure the number of minority lawyers at the nation’s law firms.

Why It Matters To You: This survey lets you know what progress law firms are making in terms of hiring.

Considerations: Retention and satisfaction of these minority attorneys might not be reflected in the sheer numbers.

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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ILRG America's Largest 350 Law Firms

ILRG America's Largest 350 Law Firms

What It Is: Rankings of largest law firms.

Why It Matters To You: Law firms are listed by size only, but are easily sortable by base office city, changes in the past year, and number of attorneys/partners/associates.

Considerations: ILRG deletes old data when a new ranking comes out, so it's difficult to trace trends over time.

Created By: Internet Legal Research Group

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Law360 Glass Ceiling Report

Law360 Glass Ceiling Report

What It Is: These rankings highlight the ways women's representation has advanced (or not) among the nation's top law firms.

Why It Matters To You: Rankings are available for best firms for female attorneys and female equity partners as well as analysis of trends within the world of law firms.

Considerations:  There is not an overall ranking for women's representation, but rather specific rankings for certain markers such as headcount. Rankings also don't measure other measures of diversity, which may provide a fuller picture. Firms are grouped within the rankings by headcount.

Created By: Law360

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Law360 Global 20

Law360 Global 20

What It Is: An annual ranking of the firms with the biggest international presence.

Why It Matters To You: This list profiles the 20 law firms with the greatest global reach and expertise.  Winning firms are selected based on how much they've expanded outside their home countries and the breadth, volume, and sophistication of their cross-border work.

Considerations:  Each firm must have office locations in numerous countries, and a significant portion of their attorneys and offices must be outside their home country. Firms are ranked based on five factors: the percentage of the firm's attorneys located outside its home country; the number of offices outside the firm's home country; the number of countries where the firm has at least one office; the practice area breadth of the firm's cross-border and international work; and the size and complexity of the firm's cross-border and international work.


Created By: Law360

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Law360 Pro Bono Firms of the Year

Law360 Pro Bono Firms of the Year

What It Is: This list profiles the firms that had the biggest wins for clients in pro bono matters over the course of the year.

Why It Matters To You: This annual pro bono series highlights some of the most impactful work and impressive victories that attorneys at major law firms took on without compensation. Winners also demonstrated a strong firm-wide commitment to pro bono work.

Considerations:  Firm commitment was measured by average hours per attorney dedicated to pro bono work.

Created By: Law360

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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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Midsize Hot List

Midsize Hot List

What It Is: List of midsized law firms recognized for excellence.

Why It Matters To You: Unlike other listings, the Midsize Hot List puts the spotlight on outstanding law firms with 50+ lawyers.

Considerations: The methodology isn’t objective and only about 20 firms receive the honor each year.

Created By: The American Lawyer

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Summer Associates Survey

Summer Associates Survey

What It Is: Annual survey of thousands of summer associates at 100-150 law firms nationwide.

Why It Matters To You: This ranking depends on a survey of fellow summer associates.They can give you a view of the day-to-day experience at these law firms, especially comparing that experience to the information they received through promotional literature, NALP, and interviews. How does the actual experience compare to what they were told to expect?

Considerations: Happy summer associates do not necessarily become happy associates. These programs are recruiting tools; law firms try to make a good impression. Additionally, some summer associates don’t yet have a broad context for their experiences. Some opinions may be based on limited knowledge of how law firms work and what it means to be an employee in a formal office setting. But these opinions may also give insight into the sometimes difficult transition from law student to lawyer.

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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The NLJ 500

The NLJ 500

What It Is: Annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms.

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

Considerations: This survey only considers size, measured by average number of full-time equivalent attorneys.

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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