The US News & World Report has delivered its rankings but, as the WSJ Law Blog complains, its not a top-to-bottom 1-1500 ranking, but rather a divied-up list gokng through a whole bunch of different areas – interesting, but not exactly the exciting stuff ‘top ranking’ lists are made for.

Rather, it divvied up the law-firm world into practice areas and, within each practice area, separated the firms into tiers. Fair enough, U.S. News. And probably sensible, but a lot less fun than a straight numerical ranking.

Some of the practice areas are biggies, like General Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Bankruptcy and IP. Others are notably more niche-oriented, like Franchise Law and Equipment Finance Law and yes, Timber Law.

Unlike the magazine’s ranking of the law schools, we don’t have space to list every firm in every category. Nor do we have the time (or inclination) to explore the methodology behind the ranking. Let’s give you the Tier 1′s in each of a few categories.

General Commercial Litigation: Bingham McCutchen, Covington, Gibson Dunn, Kramer Levin, Mayer Brown, McDermott Will, MoFo, Munger Tolles, Ropes & Gray, Sidley, Skadden, Squire Sanders, Sullivan & Cromwell, Weil Gotshal, Zuckerman Spaeder, Cleary, Cravath, Davis Polk, Debevoise, Hogan Lovells, Jenner & Block, Kirkland, Paul Weiss, Simpson Thacher, Wachtell, Williams & Connolly, WilmerHale.

Corporate Law: Bingham McCutchen, Gibson Dunn, Goodwin Procter, K&L Gates, Latham, Mayer Brown, Pillsbury Winthrop, Proskauer, Ropes, Sidley, Skadden, S&C, Weil, Cleary, Cravath, Davis Polk, Debevoise, Hogan Lovells, Kirkand, Manatt Phelps, Milbank, Paul Weiss, Schiff Hardin, Simpson Thacher, Sullivan & Worcester, Wachtell, WilmerHale.

Intellectual Property: Covington, Cowan Liebowitz, Finnegan Henderson, Fish & Richardson, Fitzpatrick Cella, Goodwin Procter, Howery, Kilpatrick Stockton, MoFo, Ropes & Gray, Sidley, Skadden, S&C, Baker Botts, Brinks Hofer, Debevoise, Fross Zelnick, Irell & Manella, Kirkland, Locke Lord Bissell, Sheldon Mak, Sheppard Mullin, WilmerHale.

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