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In early May of this year, we contacted firms that had participated in the associate surveys in previous years and other firms that had contacted us during the year asking to be included. Any firm may participate in either the Midlevel Associate Survey or Summer Associate Survey if there are enough eligible participants (10 summer associates; 10 midlevels) firmwide. Inquiries may be directed to [email protected] To be eligible, midlevels must be third- or fourth-year associates at the participating law firm (this year, the classes of 1996 and 1997). Eligible summer associates are law students who spent the summer at law firms as clerks. We require that summer associates put in at least three weeks at their firms before filling out surveys. The surveys were distributed to associates through the recruiting coordinators at their firms. If we received at least five completed surveys from a firm’s participants by deadline, that firm was included in the survey. To receive a breakout listing on the City-by-City Chart, at least five responses must have been received from an individual office. Surveys received after the deadline were not counted. For the Rankings by Firm Size, the nation’s 100 highest-grossing firms (or their predecessor firms, in the case of mergers) are designated extra-large; the next 100 highest-grossing are large; and the remaining firms are deemed midsize. The firm’s main office and gross revenue are taken from The Am Law 100 and The Am Law 200 in the July and August issues of The American Lawyer. The nine questions that counted toward firms’ composite scores in the 2000 Midlevel Associate Survey are included on the City-by-City Chart. The results of other pertinent selected questions appear on the same chart. The additional questions that do not count toward the composite score, including open-ended questions soliciting candid comments, were used both to provide a national profile of midlevel and summer associates nationwide, and to shed additional light on why a firm scored one way or another. We used the average of the nine scoring questions to arrive at a firm’s composite score for the survey. This composite score is based on the unrounded averages for each of those questions. To arrive at scores for individual questions, we averaged respondents’ answers on a citywide basis for the City-by-City Charts, and a firmwide basis for the A to Z listings and the National Rankings by Firm Size. The 2000 Midlevel Associate Survey was administered as a print survey this year, as it has been in years past, and the deadline for returning surveys was June 23. There were 3,252 participants this year; the response rate was 40 percent. We received at least the minimum responses from 165 firms that were then ranked nationally and by firm size; 233 offices qualified for a breakout listing on the City-by-City Chart. The 2000 Summer Associate Survey was administered as a Web-based questionnaire for the first time this year. Passwords were e-mailed to recruiting directors in early July, the Web site was held open through August 6, and 4,740 surveys were completed online. Because we are still evaluating the quality of the data collected at a firm-specific level, this year we decided to suspend the practice of ranking law firms.

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