Yesterday I wrote a post which criticized  the methodology used by Law360 Pulse in their newly released Prestige Leaders Survey.  The survey results are a composite score using four criteria (financial, awards, news and desirability) to measure law firms “prestige” ranking. Although I was impressed with their use of sentiment analysis algorithms for assessing positive and negative law firm news coverage,  I was critical of the financial and awards components used in the  benchmarking.  Kerry Benn  the Director of Series, Surveys and Data at Law360 spoke with me today and provided  the comments below explaining the benchmarking methods used in the survey.

Benn’s response is reprinted below in full:

“Law360 Pulse is thrilled with the publication of our Prestige Leaders this week. We worked for more than a year to develop our methodology for the Prestige Leaders alongside a consulting firm, and part of that decision making included the choice to focus on Law360 and LexisNexis data exclusively — for example, not citing financial data from other publications or using other publications’ awards in our methodology. We also wanted to present these rankings in a new way, to not be a cookie-cutter of every other law firm ranking report. This is bolstered by the unique way we chose to look at the sentiment of news stories.

We first asked about law firm financials in our annual Law Firm Survey in March, and then spent the last eight months doing outreach to firms to gather that financial data. We’re thrilled that we were able to gather financials from about 130 law firms via our surveys and outreach. We did have some larger firms that didn’t want to share financial information, and we let them know that not doing so would result in a score of zero for the financial metric that’s part of the Prestige Leaders. Several firms took that into consideration and gave us their financials, while a number did not, and as we said, those firms did receive a zero for that metric. We hope firms will be as excited about the Prestige Leaders as we are and look forward to collecting even more financial data next year.

Our Leaderboard project is one that we’re working to develop responsively over the coming years, adding more metrics and refining what we have as we look to capture what it means to be a well-rounded, successful law firm. We welcome our readers’ thoughts and suggestions, which they can email to”