Methodology & Process

Peer Reviewed, Through and Through.

Best Lawyers has employed the same transparent methodology for more than 40 years. We are Purely Peer Review®.

Our Methodology

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our process is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer-review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.
Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services.
Our Process
Nomination Submission
Lawyers can be nominated by anyone but themselves.

Peer Review
Currently recognized lawyers provide feedback on the caliber of the candidate's work.

Analysis of Feedback
Results are collected and feedback from voters is reviewed.

Eligibility Check
Candidates are confirmed to be in good standing with their local bar associations.

Results Released
Firms are informed of the results and the newly recognized lawyers are published in print and online.
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"Lawyer of the Year"

In addition to individual Best Lawyers’ recognitions, we also award a "Lawyer of the Year" accolade to individual lawyers who received the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. Only one lawyer is recognized as the "Lawyer of the Year" for a specialty and metropolitan location per edition. It is possible, for a lawyer to receive multiple "Lawyer of the Year" awards.
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Ones to Watch

Our Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch awards use our Purely Peer Review® methodology to highlight excellence in legal talent for lawyers who are earlier in their careers. Like our traditional Best Lawyers awards, "Ones to Watch" awarded lawyers are recognized for their work in specific area of law. To be considered for a "Ones to Watch" award, the first step in our process is to be nominated.
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"Law Firm of the Year"

Best Lawyers also recognizes firm-wide talent in select regions and practice areas. As with our individual recognitions, "Law Firm of the Year" awards are feedback driven. Individual lawyer and firm peer review from our surveys and firm recognition history are considered; additionally, we seek firmographic information and significant matters from the past year to further our understanding of firms under consideration for these awards.
Best Lawyers' Glossary
Nominee or Candidate
  • A nominee is a person who has been submitted for consideration to be recognized for their legal talent in one of our Best Lawyers' editions.
  • Nominees will appear on voter ballots for confidential peer evaluation.
  • Nominees for Best Lawyers will be asked to participate in the peer evaluation process in the next research cycle once they receive enough positive reviews from their peers and are recognized by Best Lawyers for their top legal talent. All nominees for "Ones to Watch" are invited to vote on their peers.
  • Nominations can be submitted online or through email at
Recognized Lawyer
  • A person currently recognized for their talent in the legal industry in either our Best Lawyers or "Ones to Watch" editions.
  • Recognized lawyers are automatically re-nominated for the next Best Lawyers research cycle.
  • Recognized lawyers are asked to provide confidential evaluation of their peers through our voting process.
  • Recognized lawyers appear at no cost in our regional magazines and partner publications. Additional marketing opportunities are available to recognized lawyers.
Best Lawyers: Our past. Our today. Our future.
Best Lawyers has spent four decades as the original, trusted source for legal referrals. From nominations to peer-reviews, our process is the most thorough evaluation of legal talent in the world.
Learn More About Our History
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