How BCG Attorney Search Ranks Law Firms |

How BCG Attorney Search Ranks Law Firms


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Ultra-Premier: These law firms represent the pinnacle of excellence and prestige within the legal industry. They are renowned for employing the most elite and accomplished lawyers, consistently delivering top-quality work to an exclusive and high-profile clientele. Ultra Premier firms are highly selective in their hiring processes, often recruiting only the top graduates from the most prestigious law schools. With a strong focus on profitability, these firms command significant influence in the legal market and enjoy unparalleled reputations, setting the bar for other firms in the industry. They offer a range of sophisticated services, from handling high-stakes litigation to advising on complex corporate transactions, further solidifying their status as the crème de la crème of the legal profession.
Premier: Premier law firms occupy a tier just below their Ultra Premier counterparts but still maintain impressive prestige and respect within the legal community. Though not quite as exclusive as Ultra Premier firms, they remain highly competitive and continue to attract top law school graduates who aspire to work in a high-caliber environment. Premier firms are known for their exceptional work quality, generous compensation packages, and unwavering commitment to professionalism. Their client rosters often feature notable names, and their work encompasses a wide range of legal matters, allowing them to maintain a strong presence in the industry.
Highly Recommended - Firms that fall under the Highly Recommended category are those ranked within the top 3-5% of all law firms in the United States. They offer outstanding career opportunities for attorneys, with a strong focus on cultivating a positive work environment and fostering employee growth. These firms' management and company culture are highly regarded, making them a superb choice for those seeking a fulfilling and rewarding legal career. As relatively rare entities in the legal market, Highly Recommended firms are highly sought after by attorneys and clients alike.
Recommended - Law firms that receive a Recommended ranking are considered to be among the top 10% of all firms in the United States, though some may even rank as high as the top 6%. These firms offer above-average work experience and are generally well-regarded in the industry. While they may receive mixed reviews, the consensus is that Recommended firms are good places to work, offering valuable opportunities for professional growth and development. Clients who engage these firms can expect high expertise and competence in handling their legal matters.
No Review: No Review law firms have not received any reviews or feedback, making it difficult to rank accurately or evaluate their performance. This could be due to the firm being relatively new, having a low profile, or not receiving public evaluations. As such, prospective employees and clients must exercise caution and conduct thorough research before engaging with a No Review firm.
Not Recommended - Not Recommended law firms may have a history of complaints and negative reviews, possibly making them risky workplaces for associates and other employees. These firms often may exhibit toxic work environments marked by a lack of coordination between departments and management, possible political strife, and different problematic dynamics. The management at Not Recommended firms may be unresponsive to concerns about human resources or political issues, leading to high employee dissatisfaction and, in some cases, surprise layoffs. As a result, these firms may be considered undesirable choices for those seeking stable and fulfilling employment in the legal industry. Most law firms ranked Not Recommended or below are done so based on private information possessed by BCG Attorney Search. This information makes us nervous about recommending this firm to others until these issues are corrected.
Avoid at All Costs - Law firms with an Avoid at All Costs ranking are widely regarded as the most problematic and hazardous legal workplace. These firms are often plagued by severe management issues, which may be perpetuated by one or a few individuals who refuse to address the firm's problems. They may exhibit a long-standing pattern of unethical behavior, including bending the rules and mistreating employees or vendors. The long-term prospects for these firms are generally bleak, as the persistence of their management issues and unaddressed concerns make it increasingly difficult for them to attract and retain top talent and secure and maintain a stable client base. Due to their abysmal reviews and potentially harmful workplace practices, attorneys and other professionals are strongly advised to steer clear of these firms at all costs.
In some cases, these firms may face legal troubles or financial difficulties, highlighting the risks associated with working at or engaging with an Avoid at All Costs law firm. Ultimately, these firms represent the antithesis of what attorneys and legal professionals should seek in a reputable and supportive work environment. They should be avoided in favor of more ethical and well-managed alternatives.
About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog,, and, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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