(1) The NALP directory: http://www.nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_quick.asp
This is your best friend. You need to read and get to know information on firm size, summer class size, offer rates, and practice area sizes for the firms you are interested in bidding on. This is a 1-stop shop for some of the most important information you need going into OCI. Don't be surprised the day of an interview to learn one firm you're bidding on is looking to hire 80 summers and the other hired 2 last year. (2) The NALP Perspectives on Fall Recruiting: http://www.nalp.org/perspectivesonfallrecruiting
You can skip this if you are light on time, but it's a fantastic resource for understanding the way the legal market works in general. Knowing these things can help inform your choices and research, but the documents on that website will be less useful for learning about individual firms. (3) Chambers Associate: http://www.chambers-associate.com/
This is a fantastic resource from the makers of Chambers & Partners. It includes detailed descriptions about law firms and information directly from attorneys about what it's like working there. One of its best resources for beginning to do research is its practice area summaries, available at: http://www.chambers-associate.com/Pract ... -Summaries(4) Vault: http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/ran ... regionId=0
This website is annoying and difficult to navigate. You need a subscription for most premium content, but you can usually get that from your school's career services office. The rankings themselves are not very useful, but the detailed information about firms ('buzz' and the like) can be a great way to start getting acquainted with a firm's culture. Be aware that the rankings are purely based on 'prestige' and come from a survey distributed to associates. Vault rankings are badly skewed in favor of NYC corporate practices, and firms that NYC corporate attorneys have heard of. (5) Lateral Link / Above the Law Career Center: http://careers.abovethelaw.com/
Great information presented in largely the same format as Vault and Chambers Associate. The charts and survey information is especially helpful, as are links to recent news from Above the Law. (6) Chambers & Partners: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA
This isn't designed "for" us - it contains information more useful for prospective clients, or bragging between law firms. It's extremely detailed, however, and can even get into boutiques and small firms in niche practice areas. Not as useful for interview prep, but very useful for deciding between offers or doing deeper research.(7) Am Law Profitability & Revenue rankings: http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... hbxlogin=1
This info isn't very useful, but it's interesting to see how profitable firms are and how they use their leverage. For more detail, see the next link.(8) Financial League Tables: http://thomsonreuters.com/products_serv ... ue_tables/
You can actually learn how many deals large firms did, where firms biggest deals were located, who had the biggest share of work like M&A, capital markets, etc. This is, if useful at all, mostly useful to learn about how the practice areas at big transactional firms actually compare. In truth, it likely won't matter much to you as a young associate, but it's interesting and concrete data if you want to go the extra mile. (9) Autoadmit, TLS, and Above the Law:
(various obvious websites)
These places can contain mountains of information about gossip, especially gossip from a young associate and law student point of view. You'll have to learn to filter information, but these are the kinds of places you'll have to turn to if you want to learn important information such as "Sullivan & Cromwell routinely sends its summer associates Bonsai Trees for Christmas" or "A callback interview at Cravath can last for 9+ hours." (10) Firm Websites: http://namesandampersands.com
The website of any individual firm will have information about the firm's summer program and culture. Perhaps more importantly, almost all firms allow you to research attorney backgrounds. This is a good way to determine which firms have strong relationships with your school. The more partners a firm has from your school, the more likely they are to take recruiting from your school seriously - even if you have to write a letter instead of doing an interview on campus.(11) Your Career Services Office
Many schools maintain surveys from prior associates, internal databases containing grade information of various firms, and basic data on how many students will be interviewed. Out of context, none of the above resources are very helpful. Once you learn what firms will be coming to OCI and which appear to be interviewing more candidates, you can make informed decisions about how to plan for OCI season.
- - - - - - - - - -Links provided by others / at a later date:http://benchmarklitigation.com/
- Litigation infohttp://www.martindale.com/
- Martindale is a great resource for smaller firms (usually the type of place you'd send applications to rather than see at OCI).