The appeal of lawyer ratings to in-house counsel when they pick a new firm to talk to

In the US, a handful of organizations purport to rate lawyers. According to the ABA J., Jan. 2007 at 27, the evaluators include Martindale-Hubbell, The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Chambers USA (the colonial arm of Chambers and Partners in Britain), and the newcomer, Lawdragon. The article points out that some of the raters aim directly at in-house counsel, some at outside counsel – who are often in turn recommenders of counsel to their corporate clients, and some to consumers.

The Association of Corporate Counsel has found from 2001 to 2005 “that in-house lawyers look to these directories – online or in print – about 18 percent of the time in hiring lawyers.” I can’t say that anyone I have spoken to in law departments mentions evaluation directories, but if you really have no clue about bankruptcy lawyers in Butte, I suppose a directory might give you your first steer.

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