The other day I received an e-mail from a PR company promoting a new service they were offering their law firm clients. It entailed advising law firms on how to get themselves listed on a magazine’s “best of” rankings and how to market the hell out of that accomplishment.

It’s a genius move on the part of the PR firm. Law firms drive themselves nuts trying to get on these lists–which cover everything from profiles of the nation’s “super” lawyers to rankings of the biggest and most profitable firms.

I’ve always found this whole ranking thing to be a bit unsavory. Many of these lists are either pay-to-play or are based on data supplied by the law firms themselves.

Few, if any, of these lists are helpful to in-house counsel. Why is it important, for instance, that a firm is ranked among the top 100 grossing firms in the country (other than the fact these firms should be more willing to reduce their rates)? And can you really trust that the data submitted by these firms is accurate?

With that in mind, we devised a law firm ranking that can’t be gamed and is actually useful. We are calling it the IC-List.

It’s useful because it focuses on the issues you care about. By going to you can grade the firms you use on eight different factors. Those include “value of service,” “quality of service,” “billing accuracy,” “adherence to budget” and “willingness to negotiate fees”–in other words, all the things that matter to you.

The results can be trusted because we’ve taken the firms and their marketing gurus out of the process. Only registered users of our Web site who are in-house counsel can rank. Registration takes about a minute and grants you access to a host of other useful online tools, such as our white paper database and job board. We will audit responses and will not publish a ranking of a firm unless it is ranked by at least 15 different in-house lawyers.

That might be our Achilles heel. For this to work we need you to participate. This is your chance to help out your fellow in-house lawyers by recognizing the firms you think are doing an outstanding job and flagging those that aren’t.

We will publish the IC-List in our October issue.