Law School Discussion

Firm 'size' question


Firm 'size' question
« on: January 18, 2008, 03:23:41 PM »
you see people talk about "biglaw", "midlaw" or whatever but what are the actual standards people are using when applying these labels? is it number of attorneys or is it the socioeconomic standing of the typical client, or what?

also, how reliable is Vault for determining the quality of the firm? i would imagine a lot of politics go into those rankings but i could of course be wrong.


Re: Firm 'size' question
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2008, 06:18:00 AM »
Size cutoffs for "biglaw" are pretty arbitrary.  Sometimes it refers to the AmLaw 200, sometimes the Vault firms.  I've also heard it used as a proxy for salary--i.e., firms paying market rate.  Most of these firms do serve large corporate clients. 

Vault certainly isn't gospel, but many treat it as such.  It's a pretty good indicator of prestige--especially the regional rankings--but quality is such a subjective term.  Vault probably reflects the tangibles (assoc. salary/bonus, profits per partner, client size) pretty well, but it all depends on what you're looking for in a firm.  Personally, I'm concerned with liking the people I work with, and being trusted with real responsibility, than any rankings.

Also, if you have a specialty interest, Chambers and Partners rankings are probably the best indicator of firm quality in that area.