For the third year in a row, Smith Freed & Eberhard was named a “Best Law Firm” in the United States by U.S. News and Best Lawyers®. Best Lawyers®, a leading survey of lawyers worldwide, ranked nearly 9,000 firms in 81 practice areas in 171 metropolitan areas and 7 states.
The methodology for the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” involved surveying thousands of law firm clients; leading lawyers and law firm managers; partners and associates; and marketing officers and recruiting officers. Each were asked what factors they considered vital for clients hiring law firms, for lawyers choosing a firm to refer a legal matter to, and for lawyers seeking employment.
Based on that feedback, six key surveys instruments were created: A client survey was sent to 52,480 clients; a lawyer survey was sent to 43,900 lawyers, including every U.S. lawyer listed in Best Lawyers®; surveys were sent to 2,314 marketing officers and 2,322 recruiting officers as well as to 8,597 firms without marketing- or recruiting-office contacts; and associate surveys were sent to 2,322 firm associates and 1,775 summer associates. The marketing-officer, recruiting-officer, associate, and summer-associate surveys included a total of 724 questions.
In addition, information was collected about client profile (numbers of clients within different billing ranges); pro-bono commitment (number and percentage of lawyers doing pro-bono work and how many pro-bono hours performed overall); and diversity (number and percentage of lawyers who are women, members of an ethnic minority, GLBT, or disabled). The survey also gathered information about firm practice areas such as the number of transactions in a practice area at different dollar levels; the number of litigation matters at different dollar levels; and the significance of major legal matters undertaken by the firm that cannot be weighed in monetary terms. Where firms did not supply information directly, efforts were made to secure the data by alternate means.
Information regarding this year’s “Best Law Firms” can be found at the following website: www.bestlawyers.com