The Best Law Firms® methodology remains consistent and unchanged since we began awarding law firms in 2010.
A firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in a Best Law Firms practice area and geographic jurisdiction to become eligible for a Best Law Firms award.
As part of our formal research process, submission packets are emailed to firms every January.
- Your firm’s list of eligible awards
- Law Firm Survey
- Client/Professional Reference Submission
Your firm’s work in a particular area is assessed through analyzing:
- Feedback provided by your clients/professional references.
- Clients/professional references are emailed a survey addressing a firm's expertise, responsiveness, understanding of a business and its needs, cost-effectiveness, civility and whether they would refer another client to the firm.
- Reference submissions are always kept strictly confidential and are never shared or published elsewhere.
- Firmographic information supplied by the firm.
- Lawyer evaluations collected during the Best Lawyers® research process.
- Data collected from Best Lawyers ballots, which can only be completed by lawyers who are currently recognized by Best Lawyers.
- Industry leader interviews
- Managing Partners and practice group leaders are invited to provide their assessments of the legal landscape.
Ranking by Tiers
The quantitative and qualitative data is combined into an overall Best Law Firms score for each firm. Because firms were often separated by small differences in overall score, we use a tiering system rather than ranking law firms sequentially.
The number of tiers awarded in each practice area and metropolitan area varies, and some specialties may not be ranked in jurisdictions where there is not enough data to create competitive analysis.
Awards and Award Notification
Firms are confidentially notified of their rankings by email in late July. Awards are always tied to a specific area of law and are segmented as follows:
- Metro Tiers 1-3
- National Tiers 1-3
- "Law Firm of the Year"*
*Only one law firm is named the "Law Firm of the Year" in a particular practice area.
Read our expanded methodology
Rankings are released to the public on www.bestlawfirms.com in early November of each year.