Chambers Rankings Discussion

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Chambers Rankings Discussion

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:05 pm

To anyone with a good grasp of how these things work:

I'm considering two NYC firms that do primarily IP lit, however, they differ in Chambers tiers by two levels (one is tier one, the other tier 3). For the most part, both firms are pretty similar. The tier 3 firm seems to have a pretty strong practice and most of the attorneys are from top schools. The tier one firm, however, has a partner denoted with an "S" (S = "senior statesman"...which, I presume, is like a rainmaker?), and attorneys mostly from non-t14 schools.

So my question is - can the presence of one rainmaker partner cause the practice prestige tier for a particular firm, all else being equal, to be a level or two higher than another (this is an honest question - I have no idea how Chambers works)? Also, I know there is talk around here that Chambers is a pretty good resource...but does anyone think that the difference between tier 1 and tier 3 is so much that a person should stay away from the tier 3 firm (again, no clue how Chambers works)?

In a broader context, how are people using this resource for their decisions? Before accusations of prestige whoring start flying, I should note that Chambers is not a dispositive consideration for firms that I'm considering :P I only ask to see what others think about it/how to use it!

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IzziesGal
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Re: Chambers Rankings Discussion

Postby IzziesGal » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:17 pm

I used to do Chambers and Legal 500 submissions for my lawyers in a V15 firm before law school. How it works is the firm's marketing group will put together profiles on each practice area, usually consisting of the practice area's fact sheet and any prominent news clips relating to the practice group. Then we select partners (only partners) from the practice group and attach their bios to the submission as well. Then we go to each partner and ask them for a list of references, who are usually GCs or other in-house counsel or gov't leaders who they've worked with who they think would say good things about them. Then, we submit the entire packet to Chambers - Chambers in turn looks at our list of partners, reads their bios, reads about our practice description, and then interviews the partners' references (usually about 4-7 references per partner). The feedback from the references coupled with the general strength of the practice group and the partner's deal lists/selected representations (and any great press clips) determines where partners are ranked in Chambers.

So the short of it is that clients play a large role in the process. Their feedback is crucial. So if you're only concerned with going to a firm with a TOP practice, then yes - tier 1 is a big difference over tier 3. These aren't Vault rankings or USNWR rankings - these are books clients have on shelves (and they mean a lot more than Vault rankings, IMO). If there are other things you prefer about the tier 3 firm, then this should not be determinative (as you noted), but if you're biggest concern is best practice group, then Tier 1 should be your choice (since that's where clients have the most faith).

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rayiner
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Re: Chambers Rankings Discussion

Postby rayiner » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:45 pm

Chambers ranked firms are all pretty good, so a band 3 ranking doesn't mean "stay away" (it's not like USNWR). That said, a band 1 ranking does tend to mean that the firm is seen by clients as being a leader in a particular area.

One thing to recall: IP is a bit different. Most IP attorneys at good IP firms did not attend T14 law schools (because of the technical background requirement). Out of the 3 band-1 patent firms in NY (Kirkland, Fitzpatrick Cella, and Ropes) two might have a lot of non-T14 attorneys. Fitzpatrick, being an IP boutique, and Ropes, whose IP practice is based on an acquired IP boutique (Fish & Neave). That in and of itself is no slight against these very good IP firms.

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Re: Chambers Rankings Discussion

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:54 pm

I used to do Chambers and Legal 500 submissions for my lawyers in a V15 firm before law school. How it works is the firm's marketing group will put together profiles on each practice area, usually consisting of the practice area's fact sheet and any prominent news clips relating to the practice group. Then we select partners (only partners) from the practice group and attach their bios to the submission as well. Then we go to each partner and ask them for a list of references, who are usually GCs or other in-house counsel or gov't leaders who they've worked with who they think would say good things about them. Then, we submit the entire packet to Chambers - Chambers in turn looks at our list of partners, reads their bios, reads about our practice description, and then interviews the partners' references (usually about 4-7 references per partner). The feedback from the references coupled with the general strength of the practice group and the partner's deal lists/selected representations (and any great press clips) determines where partners are ranked in Chambers.

So the short of it is that clients play a large role in the process. Their feedback is crucial. So if you're only concerned with going to a firm with a TOP practice, then yes - tier 1 is a big difference over tier 3. These aren't Vault rankings or USNWR rankings - these are books clients have on shelves (and they mean a lot more than Vault rankings, IMO). If there are other things you prefer about the tier 3 firm, then this should not be determinative (as you noted), but if you're biggest concern is best practice group, then Tier 1 should be your choice (since that's where clients have the most faith).


Pretty excellent post. Thanks for this. A lot of threads here devolve into arguments, but I like that this answer is conclusive (along with the Yale thread; there might have been 7 pages of bickering, but who was right and who was wrong was clearly identified at the end).

Anonymous User
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Re: Chambers Rankings Discussion

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I used to do Chambers and Legal 500 submissions for my lawyers in a V15 firm before law school. How it works is the firm's marketing group will put together profiles on each practice area, usually consisting of the practice area's fact sheet and any prominent news clips relating to the practice group. Then we select partners (only partners) from the practice group and attach their bios to the submission as well. Then we go to each partner and ask them for a list of references, who are usually GCs or other in-house counsel or gov't leaders who they've worked with who they think would say good things about them. Then, we submit the entire packet to Chambers - Chambers in turn looks at our list of partners, reads their bios, reads about our practice description, and then interviews the partners' references (usually about 4-7 references per partner). The feedback from the references coupled with the general strength of the practice group and the partner's deal lists/selected representations (and any great press clips) determines where partners are ranked in Chambers.

So the short of it is that clients play a large role in the process. Their feedback is crucial. So if you're only concerned with going to a firm with a TOP practice, then yes - tier 1 is a big difference over tier 3. These aren't Vault rankings or USNWR rankings - these are books clients have on shelves (and they mean a lot more than Vault rankings, IMO). If there are other things you prefer about the tier 3 firm, then this should not be determinative (as you noted), but if you're biggest concern is best practice group, then Tier 1 should be your choice (since that's where clients have the most faith).


Pretty excellent post. Thanks for this. A lot of threads here devolve into arguments, but I like that this answer is conclusive (along with the Yale thread; there might have been 7 pages of bickering, but who was right and who was wrong was clearly identified at the end).


+1. OP here, and thanks izzy and 'ray!

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IzziesGal
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Re: Chambers Rankings Discussion

Postby IzziesGal » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:07 pm

Anytime. Like Ray said, being ranked in Chambers is good in general - so if there are other major considerations as to why you like the tier 3 better, go with your gut feeling. Good luck!!!




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