Washington D.C. - September 15, 2010 - U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have released the 2010 Best Law Firms rankings, marking the inaugural publication of this highly-anticipated annual analysis. The rankings, including 30,322 rankings of 8,782 law firms in 81 practice areas, are posted online atwww.usnews.com/bestlawfirms; the national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, which will go on sale September 27.
These inaugural rankings, which are presented in tiers both nationally and by metropolitan area or by state, showcase 8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of 81 major practice areas. 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 mission of Best Law Firms from the start has been to help guide referring lawyers and clients - from the country's largest companies needing corporate legal advice to individuals needing to get a divorce or write a will, along with referring lawyers everywhere, who need an especially high level of legal work because of the particularly difficult legal issues presented, or else legal issues of a particular magnitude - issues that have a bet-the-company implication for a corporation or a potentially life-changing result for an individual.
"U.S. News has more than two decades of experience in providing the public with the most accurate and in-depth rankings of a wide range of institutions, including our Best Law Schools rankings," says Tim Smart, Executive Editor ofU.S. News & World Report. "This experience, coupled with our growing reputation as a leading career information resource, makes these law firm rankings a logical next step."
"U.S. News is the world's leading publisher of institutional rankings based on both objective data and peer evaluations," says Steven Naifeh, President of Best Lawyers. "We are combining this expertise with Best Lawyers' experience of providing rankings of individual lawyers based on peer reviews for almost three decades. By combining hard data with peer reviews, and client assessments, we believe that we are providing users with the most thorough, accurate, and helpful rankings of law firms ever developed."
We were very pleased with the level of response to national surveys, in which major clients and leading lawyers were asked to rate the law firms they consider best in their practice area. In the end, 9,514 clients - including every Fortune 100 company and 587 of the Fortune 1000 companies - provided 194,370 firm practice-area evaluations; 6,190 clients provided 11,181 comments about law firm practice areas and individual lawyers; and 8,842 lawyers provided 594,012 firm practice-area evaluations.
These reputational survey responses were combined with more than 3.1 million evaluations of individual lawyers in these firms in the most recent Best Lawyers survey of leading lawyers. Hard numbers were also used to develop the practice area rankings - data about numbers of lawyers and their previous experience, numbers of clients within different billing ranges, numbers of transactions and litigation matters at different dollar levels; pro-bono commitment, diversity, and other objective data.
Achieving a high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise.
Media contact: TK
About the U.S. News Media Group
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, www.usnews.com, andwww.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group's signature franchises include its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its"America's Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans, and more.
About Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. For over a quarter century, the company has helped lawyers and clients find legal counsel in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. The 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes 41,385 lawyers covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is based on more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. At www.BestLawyers.com, Best Lawyers also publishes peer-reviewed listings of lawyers in most of the world's major legal markets. Best Lawyers lists are excerpted in a wide range of general interest, business and legal publications worldwide, reaching an audience of more than 17 million readers.