I am consistently surprised by the number of attorneys that have not heard of the Chambers and Partners website (www.chambersandpartners.com), since it is a website that I frequent multiple times each day. Since 1990, Chambers and Partners ("C&P") has been providing independent rankings and commentary for the worlds' top law firms. While I am in no way affiliated with C&P, nor am I am expert on navigating the website, I find the law firm information and rankings to be extremely useful, especially when trying to determine whether a particular law firm or practice within a firm would be a good fit for a specific candidate.
As anyone in the legal field knows, there are countless law firms in this country (and in the world), and trying to distinguish them from one another can be difficult, to say the least. Moreover, while many firms have terrific websites filled with detailed practice descriptions and biographies of the practicing attorneys, other websites leave a lot to be desired. This is where C&P comes in handy. In addition to providing contact information for the firm, the number of attorneys who practice in the firm, a summary of the major areas practiced by the law firm and the location of the various firm offices, for each major practice area in a particular state, C&P ranks the top law firms into various Bands (Band 1 being the top firms, Band 2 being the next best and so on). Moreover, it provides detailed summaries of the specific practice, the clients serviced by the department and the star attorneys in the group. All of the information provided by C&P is gathered by independent third parties, none of whom are affiliated with a particular law firm. As a result, unlike a law firm website, which is put together by the firm itself, C&P provides unbiased, objective information about the firm practice. It is for this reason that I recommend that all candidates review the law firm summaries as well as the practice area rankings for the firms the candidate is evaluating.
By no means does C&P provide all of the information an attorney needs to assess whether a firm may be a good fit. That is because C&P does not provide information on the personalities of the individual attorneys in the group, the way projects are distributed to attorneys, the culture of the firm, how attorneys are evaluated, or other anecdotal information, all of which is extremely important when determining whether a particular firm would be a good place to work. Even so, it provides a good starting point from which attorneys looking to make a lateral move can assess the major firms in a particular geographic area.
Take a look.
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