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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