Frequently Asked Questions
In response to our new initiative to collect client comments for lawyers listed
in Best Lawyers, we have received a number of questions from marketing directors.
Although not all the questions apply to every state or firm, we thought it would
be best to share all the answers with our primary contacts in every listed firm
in case you get similar questions from your lawyers.
The client comments will appear on the Best Lawyers website, not in our annual print
- The methodology used to select the list of Best Lawyers remains absolutely unchanged. The comments that are collected over the coming months will not influence an attorney’s listing in any way.
We continue to believe that all good lawyers have clients who appreciate their work
so that basing listings on client comments is problematic, even unreliable. On the
other hand, thoughtful, first-hand comments from clients can be helpful to potential
clients in understanding the particular strengths of a lawyer once he or she has
already been listed on the basis of peer review.
- Editors from Best Lawyers will not be contacting any clients to engage in discussions about the lawyers who provided their names.
A few lawyers have specifically asked us to pass requests for comments along directly
to clients, and we are happy to do that. Otherwise, clients will be contacted about
a comment only if the comment needs significant editing; if so, we will contact
the client by email to approve the suggested changes.
- All of our primary contacts in each firm will be emailed a copy of the comments on their lawyers before they are posted on the Best Lawyers website.
Contacts will be asked to share the comments with the lawyers for their review,
especially to ensure that the comments do not refer to a pending legal matter.
- Upon request, we will try to make the client comments available to firms and lawyers.
Most of the clients who have sent comments have given us permission to attribute
the comments to them. If requested by the lawyer, we will be happy to ask clients
who have given us permission for attribution if the comments can be used by the
lawyer or the lawyer’s firm in other contexts.
- We are not soliciting client comments from lawyers in states where testimonials are prohibited.
Best Lawyers has researched the rules from each state’s bar association regarding
the use of client testimonials and endorsements. In the seven states where these
are prohibited – Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
and Wyoming – we are not contacting any lawyers for comments. We will also be monitoring
these rules for changes – Florida, for example, is considering a reversal of its
ban on testimonials and endorsements – and will respond accordingly.
- We will exclude comments that do not comply with state bar requirements.
A few states do not prohibit the use of testimonials and endorsements but have restrictions
on them. In New York, for example, testimonials and endorsements may not refer to
a pending legal matter. A few states bar testimonials by celebrities or public figures.
We will work to ensure that all of these restrictions are enforced in all our client
comments, not just those in states that require them.
- We will post appropriate disclaimers on all client comments, not just where states require them.
A few require disclaimers stating that testimonials are the opinions of the people
who provide them; that no two cases are alike; and that the result in one case does
not guarantee a similar result in another case. We will post these disclaimers on
all our client comments, regardless of the state.
Best Lawyers’ rigorous peer-review methodology remains the cornerstone of our lists,
as it has for 25 years. We believe that thoughtful comments from clients, especially
attributed ones, will make Best Lawyers even more useful to potential clients and