Oh No! The U.S. News Law Firm Rankings are Out Tomorrow

US News, law firm marketingThis just in: Another meaningless ranking.  Another huge chore for law firms. 

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers released its 2010 Best Law Firms rankings on September 15, marking  the inaugural publication of this pointless analysis. The rankings, including 30,322 rankings of 8,782 law firms in 81 practice areas, are posted online http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com. The national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, which will go on sale September 27, according to the publication's flacks. These rankings are the bedbugs of law firm marketing.

We already know that Only 3% of Legal Work is Influenced by Directories

These inaugural rankings, which are presented in tiers both nationally and by metropolitan area or by state, provide an ego boost to 8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of  81 major practice areas. The publications bray that it's a "comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that is unprecedented both in the range of firms represented and in the range of qualitative and quantitative data used to develop the rankings."

Here's some phony-baloney marketingspeak: "The mission of Best Law Firms from the start has been to help guide referring lawyers and clients – from the country’s largest companies needing corporate legal advice to individuals needing to get a divorce or write a will – issues that have a bet-the-company implication (in the case of a corporation) or a potentially life-changing result (in the case of an individual)."  Yeah, right.

The survey got responses from 9,514 clients and 3.1 million evaluations from individual lawyers in firms in the most recent Best Lawyers survey of leading lawyers. 

"Achieving a high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise," they say. That and four dollars will buy you a coffee at Starbucks.

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