Vault Poll


The Vault rankings are out, in case you were wondering where a particular firm measures up in the eyes of other attorneys.


Eight of the top ten firms are New York-based. From what I hear working in New York is miserable beyond description, but that could be my West Coast bias coming through. But still, screw New York.

The firm from whence I came is not in the Top Ten. It's also not hovering around the 9-13 area like my law school tends to do. It's buried firmly in the recesses of the latter tens, apparently on the decline from last year.

The Vault survey that yields this thing asks attorneys questions about their own firms, and then asks them what they think the most prestigious firms are. That, apparently, is the meat and potatoes of the prestige rankings, which are driven entirely by image rather than any objective criteria. There are plenty of other rankings out there that do take a more empirical approach. The Am Law 100/200 ranks firms based solely on profits. The American Lawyer "A-List" ranks firms based on revenue, pro bono activity, associate satisfaction(!), and diversity. So, unlike U.S. News, Vault isn't the final word on ordered goodness.

The Vault survey also gives attorneys an opportunity to provide comments about law firms, some of which are reproduced in the printed version of the guide. Two that stick in my mind from the free copy I got as a 2L were "Macho sweatshop" and "B-Team." I won't say which firm(s) those referred to.


... (that was me quietly weeping as I begin 2L) just kidding! weeee!

Not to nit-pick, but "from whence" is about as redundant as "ATM machine" because whence actually means "from where." Little known fact!

I honestly don't understand who these people are that care about what the most "prestigious" firms are -- I mean honestly, you're going to work in a sweatshop because you think it's "prestigious"? Who do you think you are impressing? Most people have never even heard of these firms, unless they are also lawyers, nor are they going to be impressed that you work there. Ugh.

Law is certainly a very ego-driven profession, so I can see where prestige rankings matter to some folks. In fact, when the latest A-List came out, I overheard a partner at the firm whence I came scoffing at the A-List's criteria (this despite the fact that my firm consistently kicks ass in the A-List rankings). But yeah, it's really absurd that this gets so much attention.

And Kira, thanks for the grammar lesson. I guess my years of railing against "rate of speed" have been tainted by hypocrisy. In my defense I think I picked that up from Ren & Stimpy ("Now I see from whence the stench came!"), but I probably shouldn't rely on cartoons for the proper usage of archaic words.

Haha. I must admit I'm a bit of a hypocrite as well. I have and wear a shirt that says "Because 'funner' is funner to say."

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on August 17, 2006 9:24 AM.

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