Law Firm Rankings for 2014 Published by US News & World Reports
Right on schedule, the US News & World Report has published their coveted law firm rankings for 2014. The Law Firm Insider post announcing the rankings observed that the last couple of years had been extremely rough going for law firms. The market for law firms has undergone radical shifts and all firms, big and small, have been compelled to rethink their strategies and streamline operations and practices. The 2014 rankings considered almost 12,000 firms including those run by solo practitioners as well as 6,000 firms that received Tier 1 national rankings. The rankings covered 74 practice areas in national rankings and 120 practice areas in its metropolitan rankings.
Even though market trends show clearly that a larger number of general counsel are opting to hire smaller and focused law firms than the behemoths, unless the need is clear, Big Law refuses to give up and claims to be reborn. Law Insider pointed out the trends of this rebirth of Big Law is evinced in patterns where work is no longer the sole responsibility of a senior partner and "a cadre of freshly minted associates." Big Law is quickly learning from its corporate clients how to manage their business in the 21st Century. With clients becoming cost conscious hourly billing is being replaced by flat fee structures and other arrangements that are more convenient or transparent to clients. This is sometimes also taking the shape of fixed budget work. Also new practice areas like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, health care, and financial services regulations have enriched the prospects of law firms who have kept up with changes in market requirements and trends.
Even with all the upheavals in the legal industry, Big Law continues to survive and outdo with almost the same names reappearing year after year in the rankings. The Best Law Firm of the Year awards list saw Gibson Dunn topping Antitrust, Mayer Brown as the best in Appellate Practice, Jones Day in Franchise, and Reed Smith top in Insurance law among others.
The full rankings are present on the US News Website.