Rating Methodology

Best Lawyers

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

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. 

Best Law Firms (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. Rankings 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

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


The Avvo Rating is an effort to evaluate a lawyer’s background based on the information available in an attorney’s Avvo profile. Avvo creates the rating using a model that considers information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information collected from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Any information that affects the Avvo Rating is visible in an attorney’s profile. Avvo does not provide a numerical rating for profiles that have not been claimed by that attorney.

  • How the Avvo Rating is calculated. The rating is calculated using a mathematical model, and all lawyers are evaluated on the same set of standards.
  • The Avvo Rating cannot be bought. Attorneys can’t pay to improve their ratings.
  • It was developed by legal professionals and people looking for legal services. The model used to calculate the rating was developed with input from hundreds of attorneys, thousands of consumers, and many other legal professionals who deeply understand the work attorneys do. The Avvo Rating was created to reflect the type of information people have identified as important when looking to hire an attorney.
  • Ratings are on a scale of 1-10. Ratings fall on a scale of 1 (Extreme Caution) to 10 (Superb), helping to quickly assess a lawyer’s background based on their rating.

For more information on the Avvo Rating, click here.

Litigator Awards

This award honors the top 1% of all trial lawyers in the United States. Recipients are carefully selected by a nomination committee using a system known as the “Performance-Oriented Rating Methodology.” This system examines the nominees’ performance, experience, skill, and ability in a specific practice area.

For more information on the selection process of the Litigator Awards, click here