Last month, we mentioned the plans of Chambers and Partners, the U.K.-based publisher of law firm guides, to launch an online guide to U.S. law firms called Chambers Associate. Already well-known for its rankings of top firms in different practice areas — which firms love to tout in their PR materials, since they’re always good news — Chambers now seeks to supplement its coverage with a resource for law students and laterals.
The Chambers Associate site is now live. Enter a firm’s name in the search box to find its profile, or use the advanced search feature to find firms by region, practice area, or some other criterion.
How does Chambers Associate compare to other resources in the market? The field is already crowded, with players such as Vault and the new ATL / Lateral Link Career Center. Editor Michael Lovatt, whom we met at the NALP conference, explained Chambers Associate:
The emphasis we have gone for is away from the Vault prestige ranking model, and toward the notion that there isn’t a ‘best’ firm, rather that an individual’s specific interests and ambitions make different firms — with their various cultures, policies, practice strengths and identities — the right fit.
Getting law students and lawyers to look beyond prestige, in a profession as status-obsessed as the law, may be a challenge. But at least Chambers has done its homework:
For each firm, we write an overview based on the detailed practice area rankings from Chambers USA, then write 10 sections of editorial based on anonymous telephone interviews with a random, representative sample of junior associates at that firm. It’s an in-depth, substantive approach that we think gets under the skin of law firms in more detail than any other publication.
Present company excluded, of course; here at ATL, we pride ourselves on the ability to “get under the skin of law firms.” We checked out a few of the Chambers Associate profiles, and they struck us as comprehensive, if a bit tilted towards the positive.
Press release, after the jump.
CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS — CHAMBERS ASSOCIATE — PRESS RELEASE
New publication helps law students find the right job.
In this tough recruitment market, it’s not enough for law graduates to ask: “Which is the best law firm?” They need to know: “Which is the best firm for me?”
The new website, Chambers Associate, based on interviews with associates, provides the information that law students need to make an informed career choice.
It gives ‘the inside track’ – seen through the eyes of junior lawyers themselves – about working inside top law firms. “I reviewed overviews, including two firms where I practiced,” says Lois Casaleggi, Senior Director of Career Services at The University of Chicago Law School, “and I think the information provided is great.”
Chambers Associate reveals a law-firm’s culture and working environment for law students, and prospects for continuing employment, rather than a firm’s status and ‘prestige’.
Lois Casaleggi supports this approach: “Prestige is not the issue, but finding the right firm for each individual. That is a message that we try to convey all the time.”
· Designed in close consultation with students, associates, law firm recruiters and law schools,
· Based on a thousand telephone interviews with young lawyers across the USA.
· Also draws on the research undertaken for Chambers USA, the market-leading legal directory which assesses law firms on the basis of interviews with clients.
· Evaluations are drawn from those who really know the associate experience – junior lawyers themselves.
· Profiles of the top 100 US firms by revenue.
· Free access: no institutional or personal subscriptions required.
· Easy to search: Chambers Associate takes users directly to all the facts and figures they need.
Chambers is the world-leader in the publishing of client-based market assessment of the legal profession. All research is independent and unbiased: no one can buy their way into the guides or influence what is said about them.
Chambers Associate [official website]