Legal ServicesRating Methodology
A recognition by Best Lawyers is based on peer review. As such, Best Lawyers employs a transparent and professional survey process that is meant to provide relevant evaluation of the quality of the legal services a lawyer provides. Best Lawyers’ methodology is meant to capture as precisely as possible, the opinion of leading lawyers about the abilities and professionalism of other lawyers within similar geographical and legal practice areas. Best Lawyers believes that the quality of a peer review survey is proportionate to the lawyers who are voting.
Best Lawyers also offers three additional recognitions. The first, “Lawyer of the Year” is given to individual attorneys who received the highest overall peer-feedback for a particular practice area and geographical location. Only one lawyer can be recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each individual location and area of practice.
Best Lawyers has recently launched a new award titled “Law Firm of the Year.” This award is only available in select markets and is based on various factors such as the size and coverage of a firm in a particular area of practice, feedback from lawyers who have been recognized by Best Lawyers on individual and firm-wide work, a historical analysis of the law firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards in this particular area and significant research surrounding the law firm’s overall expertise and scope of work.
Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognizes lawyers who have been in private practice in the United States for less than 10 years. This recognition is based solely on peer review.
To learn more about Best Lawyers methodology, click here.
Super Lawyers is a patented multi step process that involves peer nomination, independent research, peer evaluations and final selection. Each year, Super Lawyers selects lawyers from across the country from all firm sizes and more than 70 practice areas. Lawyers are formally nominated by their peers or through the research process. Lawyers are unable to nominate themselves and must limit their nominations to their peers who practice within the same state. Super Lawyers tracks each unique nomination and prohibits anyone from soliciting nominations from other lawyers. Once a lawyer is nominated, he or she will become eligible for further evaluation and research. A lawyer is not guaranteed selection simply because he or she was nominated to Super Lawyers.
Super Lawyers conducts rigorous research to evaluate the lawyers who have been nominated to ensure they meet the 12 indicators of professional achievement and peer recognition. These include the lawyer’s experience, awards, their position within the law firm, pro bono and community service, scholarly writing and/or lectures, transactions, verdicts and settlements, bar and/or professional activity, special licenses and certifications, employment and educational background, representative clients, and other various outstanding achievements. The third step in the selection process includes peer evaluation by practice area. This is also referred to as the “blue ribbon review.” Through this, the candidates in each practice area with the highest total points accumulated from steps one and two are asked to serve on a blue ribbon panel. These panelists are given a list of candidates from their practice areas to evaluate and rate them on a scale of one to five. From there, candidates are grouped into four firm-size categories. Candidates with the highest total points from each category are selected. Only five percent of the total lawyers in the state are selected to Super Lawyers.
The process for selecting a Rising Star is the same as noted above, however, in order to be eligible for inclusion, candidates must either be 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. All attorneys go through the Super Lawyers selection process, however those who are not selected but still eligible for Rising Stars go through the Rising Stars selection process. No more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state are named to the Rising Stars inclusion.
For more information on the selection process for Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, click here.
Best Law Firm (U.S. News & World Report)
A law firm must have one attorney at minimum who is currently recognized in the latest edition of Best Lawyers in a “Best Law Firm” ranked area of practice or geographical location. Submission packets are emailed to candidates every January. These packets include a law firm survey, eligible practice and geographical areas and instructions on how to send a list of clients and/or professional references to be surveyed. These clients and/or professional references are emailed a survey asking them to analyze the firm’s responsiveness, expertise, understanding of their business and subsequent needs, civility, cost-effectiveness and whether or not the person being surveyed would refer a client to the law firm in question. These recorded responses are always confidential and never shared or publicized elsewhere. The data collected from this survey is combined into an overall “Best Law Firms” score for each law firm. Best Law Firm (U.S. News & World Report) uses a tier system to rank law firms sequentially. The number of tiers for each area of practice or geographical area vary and some specialities may not be be ranked if there is not enough data to provide rankings in particular specialities. Firms are notified of their rankings via email in the tail end of July. The tiers are as follows:
- Metro Tiers 1-3
- National Tiers 1-3
- Law Firm of the Year
Only one law firm can earn the title of “Law Firm of the Year” in national eligible area of practices. Ranking are publicized on https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/ each November.
For more information on the Best Law Firms (U.S. News & World Report) selection process, click here.
South Jersey Magazine Awesome Attorneys
South Jersey Magazine sends out correspondence to leading law firms and lawyers in South Jersey in search of nominations for their annual Awesome Attorneys list. Furthermore, readers of South Jersey Magazine are tasked with going online to recommend lawyers they’ve had positive experiences with. After this step is completed, the results are counted. There is a minimum number of votes to be considered for the list so the leading votes in each speciality are assessed using public sources of information to verify professional achievements, honorable accolades, personal experience, peer recognition and more. South Jersey Magazine goes to great lengths to ensure a fair voting process however they recognize that the surveys and internet research are not entirely objective. South Jersey Magazine states that they are aware that the attorneys named to this list are a small sample of the good lawyers throughout the region and that many professionals do not appear on the list. Just because a lawyer is recognized as an “Awesome Attorney” does not mean they are endorsed by South Jersey Magazine; South Jersey Magazine does not endorse any particular lawyer who was selected to this inclusion nor were any of the paid advertisements used in exchange for inclusion on the list.
For more information on South Jersey Magazine Awesome Attorneys, click here.
SJ Magazine Top Lawyers
SJ Magazine’s Top Attorney list is comprised of nominations from other lawyers in the region. Before a lawyer casts their nomination on the magazine’s website, he or she must provide their New Jersey Attorney ID number. Lawyers may also cast their nomination via paper ballot with their signature. Attorneys are not allowed to nominate themselves for inclusion on this list. Once the nominations are calculated, SJ Magazine determines the cutoff point in each category. These cutoff points are checked against the New Jersey Courts database in order to verify that the nominee is licensed to practice law in New Jersey, the date they were admitted to the New Jersey bar and where the lawyer’s main area of practice was located. SJ Magazine does not recommend or endorse any lawyer’s service.
For more information on the selection process by SJ Magazine, click here.
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only agency that is made up of distinguished trial lawyers from each state who meet rigorous qualifications as criminal defense trial or civil plaintiff lawyers. Selection to this organization is based on a multi-phase objective and uniform process that includes peer nominations and third-party research. Membership to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is only extended to a select few of the most qualified lawyers from each state who demonstrate excellent qualifications of influence, leadership, reputation, stature and public profile, all of which are measured by objectively applied standards that are in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7.
For more information on the selection process of National Trial Lawyers, click here.
National Association of Distinguished Counsel Top One Percent
The National Association of Distinguished Counsel uses a thorough and objective multi-step selection process. Candidates are either nominated to this inclusion or identified by an in-house research team. Nominations are accepted from fellow attorneys, current or former clients, and members of the NADC. Once a candidate is nominated, they go through a lengthy vetting process by NADC and researchers. The information that is considered in this review process is acquired through information that is publicly available. This information includes public profiles, client reviews, attorneys’ websites, and case results. The NAPD Research team considers factors that include but are not limited to the firm profile and reputation, education, years of practice, trial experience, case outcomes, client reviews, professional awards, training, professional membership, peer endorsements, leadership in legal organization, disciplinary status, community involvement, and other relevant factors. A blue-ribbon panel of lawyers analyzes these results. The lawyers on this blue-ribbon panel have achieved podium status in their own right by several independent organizations that are separate from the NADC. While analyzing the results, the blue-ribbon panel makes careful determination as to who among their peers possesses the skill, background, and accomplishments to serve as an example to other lawyers. The result is a list of lawyers who are considered to be truly elite. A judicial review board that is led by a group of former judges weighs in on the final candidates in order to ensure that those who are named “Nation’s Top Attorneys” have embodied the ideals of the legal profession. The judicial review board finalizes the process of selecting the lawyers whose performance, reputation, character, and virtue exhibit the qualities becoming of an Officer of the Court.
For more information on the selection process of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel Top One Percent, click here.