Skip to Main Content

Law School Home

How To Research Legal Employers: Resources for Researching Law Firms

Researching Law Firms

Are you preparing to interview with a law firm? Don't go in cold. Learn the ins and outs of hundreds of firms using the resources below. 

What Are You Looking For?

With the variety of resources to use, it can be difficult to know which one to explore.

Law Firm Rankings and Surveys

  • ALM Intelligence Legal Compass. ALM's rankings and surveys are highly regarded by anyone doing research on the legal profession. This data is synthesized with external intelligence from government and firm websites and social media to create an unparalleled suite of interactive charts, maps and data visualization tools.
  • Vault. Vault surveys thousands of full-time professionals and interns every year. From the results of these surveys, Vault ranks the top employers and internship programs in various industries in prestige, diversity, quality of life, and overall best companies to work for.

Law Firm Information

  • NALP Directory. The freely accessible NALP Directory provides specific information on law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, and corporations, including lawyer demographics, practice areas, compensation and benefits, diversity and inclusion practices, and other valuable information about legal employers.
  • This site contains listings for more than one million lawyers and law firms. Go beyond Big Law to find attorneys and firms by practice area and location.
  • Leadership Connect. This guide is the best for locating organizations and persons associated with federal and state government, including law and lobbying firms, nonprofits, and news media.

Attorney Records and Rankings

  • Chambers and Partners. Search Chambers and Partners to find the top lawyers and law firms according to practice area and location.
  • The Legal 500. The Legal 500 also ranks lawyers and firms by practice area and location, taking its information from client surveys.
  • Lexis+ Litigation Profile Suite. This database connects attorneys to actual cases, briefs, and news associated with their careers. Use this Suite for real-world data on how much of an attorney's practice is focused on various practice areas.

Student-Focused Guidance

  • Vault. This site is designed to help law students and new attorneys navigate the legal profession. The Career Advice section includes help  with resumes, interviews, networking, and more. Explore Vault Guides for information on breaking into particular fields.
  • Chambers Associate.  "The Student's Guide to Law Firms in America," this site has guides to help students evaluate law firms based on their personal preferences and interests.

News and Public Image

  • Lexis+ Law360. Law360 provides high quality legal news. It is a great place to find out if a firm or attorney is currently involved in particular litigation or has otherwise made the papers.

ALM Intelligence Legal Compass

ALM's Surveys, Lists & Rankings include the AmLaw100, the AmLaw Summer Associates Survey, the NLJ 250, and the A-List, which tracks factors such as pro bono, associate satisfaction, and diversity. ALM's Law Firm Reports provide historical financial and demographic data for individual law firms, reaching back 10 years. Access to ALM is provided to members of the MLaw community.

screenshot of alm's search page for surveys and rankings


Vault is a subscription-based website that includes full-text access to guides covering national and regional law firms, non-legal careers, and the job search process, information on over 500 law firms and their hiring practices, information on the work environment at 3000 companies, and access to a nation-wide message board where information about law firms and employers can be shared.

screenshot of vault law firm rankings page









Accessing Vault

The first time you visit the Vault site you will need to create an account. Registration will be free for University of Michigan Law students. Use your email address to register.

Note: The guides are designed for viewing within your browser, but they can be downloaded as ePUB files. For help using these files, please see this how-to article

NALP Directory

NALP Directory includes many filters to help users zero in on available law firm options. This database provides specific information on law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, and corporations, including lawyer demographics, practice areas, compensation and benefits, diversity and inclusion practices, and other valuable information about legal employers.

screenshot of NALP directory search page

Chambers Associate

Chambers Associate bills itself as "The Student's Guide to Law Firms in America." This site is designed to help law students effectively research new employers. In addition to law firm rankings by geography, practice area, associate satisfaction, diversity, and other facets, this site has guides for how students can evaluate law firms based on their personal preferences and interests.

Learn what it is really like to practice with guides to 57 different practice areas. Read up on how to differentiate among Wall Street, global, and other types of firms. Use the comparison tool to visualize the differences among various actual firms.

screenshot from the chambers associate website. Outlines "the four basic steps" of figuring out what firm is the right one for an individual.

Chambers and Partners

Chambers USA ranks the top lawyers and law firms across the country. Use this database to evaluate over 18,000 different lawyers and 2,300 different firms.

screenshot of example search for illinois antitrust firms using chambers and partners database


Lexis+ is home to a number of useful databases. Use the "product switcher" in the top left of any page to select a different database.

screenshot of product switcher menu in Lexis+









Litigation Profile Suite

Dig deep into individual attorneys using the Litigation Profile Suite in Lexis+. Find briefs, opinions, and news involving an attorney, as well as visualized data assessing their practice history.

screenshot of an attorney profile in Litigation profile suite











Law360, a trusted source of legal news and analysis, also provides law firm rankings, data, and analysis. Members of the MLaw community can access Law360 through their Lexis+ accounts or through the link below.

screenshot of Law360 page on Legal Industry

Leadership Connect

Need to know who to contact within an organization? Leadership Connect is perfect for creating a list of contacts. This tool allows searching and browsing within individual directories or across 14 different federal directories using single or multiple criteria, such as name, job title, industry, and geographical location.

This searchable database includes biographical information about federal government employees, companies, and organizations by type, industry, job function, geographic location, size, or keyword. Leadership Connect is ideal for searching NGOs, government agencies, board memberships, and not-for-profit organizations. Access to this database is provided to current members of the MLaw community.

screenshot of leadership connect homepage

The Legal 500

This website uses client feedback to assess the strengths of law firms in over 150 jurisdictions. They claim "highlight the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel."

In each practice area, top firms and power players are ranked by tier. Firm profiles include lists of key attorneys and clients within each practice area. 

Screenshot of legal 500 ranking

If you are looking beyond Big Law, is a directory of lawyers and law firms of all sizes. 

screenshot of example search on

MLaw Links

Need Help?

  Call us at 734-764-9324

text message icon Text us at 734-329-5606

twitter bird icon Tweet @ us!

  Email us at Emails are answered by Librarians during standard business hours, Monday-Friday. Patrons may expect a response within 1-2 business days for most emails.

  Consult with us. Schedule an appointment to meet with a Reference Librarian.

  Visit us at the Information Desk on Sub-1 for immediate in-person assistance. Open 8 am - midnight, Sunday-Thursday, and 8am - 10pm, Friday-Saturday*


The chat service is available to all of our patrons but is designed to meet the legal research needs of U-M students, staff, and faculty.

Chat is monitored from 1-6 pm Monday-Wednesday and 1-5 pm Thursday-Friday on days when class is in session.

*Excluding University holidays and semester breaks--check library hours for more information. The Building and library are available to law school community ONLY after 6 pm, and are closed to all but law school community on home football Saturdays.