Law is all about the rankings

September 16, 2011
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Another group throws its hat into the ring of law-related rankings with a “best” summer associate program list. Because law students don’t have enough lists of rankings to obsess about.

When thinking about becoming an attorney, depending on when this was, you may have studied U.S. News and Report’s lists naming the top law schools in the country. You could have even chosen your law school (or cut out other choices) based on this list or some other ranking.

Once you get into that law school, if you’re heading toward the path of big law, then you may look at lists like National Law Journal’s top 250, or the American Bar Association’s Best Law Firms for Women, to get an idea of where you’d like to practice.

A website for job hunters, Vault, has now created a list ranking the best overall summer associate programs around the U.S. Vault releases rankings of law firms overall and based on diversity and practice areas, but this is the first time it has released their rankings in this area. They aren’t the first to do so – American Lawyer has ranked summer associate programs for years based on surveys from associates. Only two Indiana firms made American Lawyer’s 2010 list, most likely because they are the only ones whose summer associates responded. Baker & Daniels was ranked first; Taft Stettinius & Hollister was second.

On Vault’s website, you can see their overall ranking for these programs, which were considered the most realistic, the ones that best prepared students, or which ones were the most fun. No firms from Indiana made any of the lists, but it is narrowed down to only the top 25 or 50, based on the category.

What do you think about ranking summer associate programs? Does it put more pressure on firms? Is it needed?

Of course, you want to know – Ropes & Gray in Boston apparently has the most fun summer associate program.


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.