The U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" rankings are based on an extensive evaluation process that includes client and lawyer evaluations, peer review, and firm background information. Steven Naifeh, President of Best Lawyers, said, "By combining hard data with peer reviews, and client assessments, we continue to believe that we are providing clients with the most thorough, accurate, and helpful rankings of law firms ever developed."
Clients provided feedback on firms' expertise, responsiveness, cost-effectiveness, and whether they would refer another client to the firm. Lawyers rated firms on areas like expertise, integrity, whether they would refer a matter to a firm, and if they consider the firm a worthy competitor.
All of the data was combined to produce a "Best Law Firms" score. Each firm's score was compared to those of other law firms within the same metropolitan area and at the national level. According to U.S. News and Best Lawyers, achieving a high ranking "…is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise."