U.S. News and Best Lawyers have joined to rank the best law firms in the United States. The result: The two organizations have ranked more than 11,000 firms in 120 practice areas and in 170 metropolitan areas in its Best Law Firms ranking.
You can click here to search by practice area, from from admirality and martime law to venture capital law.
You can click here to search by state, from Alabama to Wyoming. Within those results, you can narrow the search by city or search for an individual firm. You can also see rankings from every state where Huseby has a location.
The law firms are not ranked sequentially, but by tiers. The methodology description says, “the first tier in each metropolitan area includes those firms that scored within a certain percentage of the highest-scoring firm(s); the second tier, those firms that scored within a certain percentage of the next highest scoring firm(s), and so on.”
According to U.S. News, the rankings are based on an evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their fields, and reviews of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.
The organizations also rank the Law Firms of the Year by practice area. One firm per category is chosen, based on law firms’ overall performance in a given practice area and represent a significant showing in the 2014 research, the website says.
Congratulations to the firms that made the lists.
Don’t be surprised to search for a specific firm and not find it. Many didn’t make the cut based on a technicality: To be eligible for a ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America list.
While many may use the list and find it helpful, there are a lot of warnings out there about U.S. News & World Report rankings. While many comments focus on the better-known college rankings, the criticisms may still apply.
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera wrote last year, “Magazines compile lists because people like to read them. With U.S. News having folded its print edition two years ago, its rankings — not just of colleges . . . — are probably what keep the enterprise alive. . . . And they imbue these rankings with an authority that is largely unjustified.”
So, if your firm was ranked, congratulations. Make the best of it. If your firm didn’t, chalk it up to the vagaries of the ranking system.