Methodology

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in finding out more about Best Lawyers. Below are the most commonly asked questions that we receive.


How does a lawyer become recognized by Best Lawyers?

The first step is for a lawyer to be nominated. For the full research process, please visit our Methodology page.

When was the first edition of Best Lawyers published?

For more than four decades, Best Lawyers has continuously recognized top legal talent. The 28th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list was announced on August 19, 2021. Additional country publications began in 2007 and research schedules vary based on country.

Who founded Best Lawyers?

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith founded Best Lawyers in 1981.

What regions have Best Lawyers publications?

Best Lawyers publishes top legal talent in more than 76 countries around the world.

Country publications
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belarus
Belgium
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
China: Global Firms
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia / Hrvatska
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Guatemala
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Mexico
Moldova
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Norway
Oman
Panama
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Republic of North Macedonia
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Serbia and Montenegro
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Tajikistan
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Uzbekistan
Venezuela

How many editions of Best Lawyers have been published?

For four decades, Best Lawyers has continuously recognized top legal talent. The 28th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list was announced on August 19, 2021. Additional country publications began in 2007 and research schedules vary based on country.

Edition Number
Year
1
1983
2
1987
3
1989-1990
4
1991-1992
5
1993-1994
6
1995-1996
7
1997-1998
8
1999-2000
9
2001-2002
10
2003-2004
Edition Number
Year
11
2005-2006
12
2006
13
2007
14
2008
15
2009
16
2010
17
2011
18
2012
19
2013
20
2014
Edition Number
Year
21
2015
22
2016
23
2017
24
2018
25
2019
26
2020
27
2021
28
2022


How can I nominate lawyers for consideration in Best Lawyers?

Nominations can be submitted through our public website or by contacting nominations@bestlawyers.com.

Who should be nominated for Best Lawyers?

We recommend that nominees for Best Lawyers have been in practice for at least 10 years to give them time to build a legal presence in their community and practice areas. Nominees for Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch should have been in practice for 3 to 9 years (depending on jurisdiction). Candidates must also be in private practice. Best Lawyers does not accept nominations for in-house lawyers at this time.

Is there a limit to the number of lawyers I can nominate?

There is no limit.

Is there a limit to the number of practice areas a lawyer can be nominated for?

No. However, we highly recommend only nominating candidates in their areas of expertise.

Do lawyers already recognized by Best Lawyers have to be re-nominated each year?

No. Lawyers who are currently recognized by Best Lawyers are automatically nominated for the following edition.

If a nominee is not selected for recognition this year do they have to be re-nominated next year?

We automatically keep all nominees on the ballots for three editions. If a lawyer is not recognized after three editions, their nomination will be archived, and they will need to be re-nominated for future consideration.

When should I re-nominate a candidate if the nomination was archived?

You are welcome to resubmit the nomination once a candidate is archived.

Who has been nominated from my firm?

Please log in to your account to view your firm reports or contact us for assistance.

Can a lawyer be a nominee for both Best Lawyers and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch?

No. A lawyer can only be a candidate for one award type at a given time.


Who is allowed to vote?

Lawyers recognized in the current edition of Best Lawyers are eligible to vote for the upcoming edition.

Can lawyers vote on themselves?

No, lawyers are not allowed to vote on themselves. Thus, a voter's name will not appear on their own ballot.

Can lawyers vote on lawyers from their own firm?

Yes. If there is a candidate from the voter’s firm who is nominated in the same practice area that the voter is recognized for in Best Lawyers, they will have the opportunity to vote on internal candidates. (Example: if you are recognized for your work in Family Law and others from your firm are nominated in Family Law, you will be able to give feedback on their work.)

What does the Best Lawyers ballot ask voting lawyers?

All voters are asked the same thing: "If you were unable to take a case yourself, how likely would you be to refer it to this lawyer?" Our voting scale is a numbered scale as follows:

5 Golden voting star filled in Would absolutely recommend
4 Golden voting star filled in Would likely recommend
3 Golden voting star filled in Would probably recommend
2 Golden voting star filled in Would most likely not recommend
1 Golden voting star filled in Would not recommend
Do not know / cannot comment

Voters also are able to add a Golden voting star half filled in ‘.5’ to their votes to make them more specific, if they choose to do so, and can use the notation "Don’t Know" for lawyers whose work they are unfamiliar with. Our ballots also allow for voters to leave additional comments on nominees.

Can voting lawyers add names to their ballots?

No. Ballots are custom built based on the voter’s regional location and practice areas. Voting lawyers are not able to add names of lawyers to their ballots.

When are ballots sent?

Balloting periods vary by country. For further details, please see the research timeline for your country.


How does a lawyer become eligible for a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognition?

Like traditional Best Lawyers rankings, the first step in the methodology is for a lawyer to be nominated.

Who can nominate a lawyer for Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch?

Anyone can nominate a lawyer (clients, peers, marketing teams, etc.) just like nominations for Best Lawyers awards.

Will the research still be peer review?

Yes. We maintain our benchmark peer-review process for this award.

Who are the voters for Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch?

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch is a peer-review voting process. Voting is currently open to all candidates in their practice area and location.

Can lawyers vote on themselves?

No, lawyers are not allowed to vote on themselves.

Can lawyers vote on lawyers from their own firm?

Yes, just like the traditional Best Lawyers voting process, voters can provide feedback on candidates at their own firm if they are nominated in the same practice areas.


How are lawyers notified of their inclusion in Best Lawyers?

Lawyers highlighted for their top legal talent will be contacted via email and in select markets, also with a mailed inclusion letter. If we have a designated contact for a law firm, those contacts will first receive a complete list of the lawyers from their firm who will be recognized in the upcoming edition.

When are lawyers notified of their inclusion?

Release dates vary by country. Please check your country's research timeline.

Who from my firm will be recognized?

If you are a firm representative in our system, you will receive an automatic email notification from us detailing this information. You also can find this information by logging in to your account. If you are not already in our system, please contact us and we will send you this report.

Why are new editions embargoed?

New editions are under embargo to allow lawyers and firms time to review before the public announcement. Visit your country's research timeline to learn when the embargo period occurs for your region.

What does "Lawyer of the Year" mean?

"Lawyer of the Year" awards are presented annually to a single outstanding lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area.

What does "Top-Listed" mean?

The "Top-Listed" award is given to the firm that has the most recognized lawyers in a particular location and practice area. This award is based exclusively on number of recognized lawyers and is in no way related to the "Best Law Firms" rankings. You can find this information by logging in to your account.

What does "Law Firm of the Year" mean?

"Law Firm of the Year" awards recognize a single top firm for its work in a specific legal practice area (nationwide). Awards are determined based on a handful of factors including: lawyer feedback, the size and breadth of the firm, historical analysis of the firm's "Lawyer of the Year" awards and the firm's overall scope and areas of expertise. To date, Best Lawyers has produced "Law Firm of the Year" awards in 17 global markets.


Is the new edition embargoed?

Yes, results are released to firms first and then the public shortly after.

What are the publicizing guidelines associated with Best Lawyers?

Best Lawyers has strict publicizing guidelines to adhere to bar association standards. Our full Publicizing Guidelines are available online.

Can I use the Best Lawyers logo in marketing materials?

High-resolution, customized lawyer and firm logos are available for purchase. These logos may be used in print materials and online.

Where do lawyers highlighted in Best Lawyers appear?

Our annual publications appear online at bestlawyers.com, in regional magazines distributed to targeted areas and in various third-party publications around the globe. Additionally, all lawyers recognized in 2021 and earlier Best Lawyers lists appeared in The Best Lawyers in America© books.

What marketing opportunities are available to firms with highlighted lawyers?

Best Lawyers offers a full suite of marketing opportunities designed to amplify awarded lawyers, including custom publications, online profiles and more. For details, please contact sales@bestlawyers.com.

What commemorative products does Best Lawyers offer highlighted lawyers?

Best Lawyers offers plaques, crystals, logos, badges and more to help awarded lawyers promote their recognitions. Please see our full product line available online or contact sales@bestlawyers.com.


Select your email client:

Step 1: Creating the signature

  1. Click on the cog in the upper right-hand corner and select "See all settings".

    Image demonstrating where the Google Mail settings menu is located

  2. Under the "General" tab, scroll down to the signature option and select the "+Create New" button.

    Image demonstrating where the Google Mail signature options are

  3. Add an identifying name for the new signature.

    Image demonstrating where the Google Mail signature options are

Step 2: Inserting the image

  1. Click on the "Insert Image" icon.

    Image demonstrating where the Insert Image icon is located in Google Mail

  2. After clicking on "Insert Image", select "Web Address (URL)" and enter the "src" value from the customized code and click "Select." Note: the "src" value is the code you received for the logo from Best Lawyers.
    1. Example:
      src=' https://www.bestlawyers.com/Logos/ListedFirm/****/US/S/Basic.png '

    Image demonstrating where to find the Link icon to make the logo a hyperlink in Google Mail

Step 3: Inserting hyperlink

  1. After inserting the image, highlight the image and click on the "Link" icon. Then click on "Change."

    Image demonstrating where to find the Link icon to make the logo a hyperlink

  2. In the "Edit Link" window, make sure the "Web Address" radio button is selected. Replace the "To what URL should this link go?" text with the "href" value from the custom code.
    1. Example:
      href=' https://www.bestlawyers.com/firms/firm-name/*****/** '
      href=' https://www.bestlawyers.com/lawyers/lawyer-name/***** '

    Image demonstrating how to add a profile link to the logo image in Google Mail

Step 4: Saving and applying

  1. After clicking "OK" in the "Edit Link" window, scroll to the bottom of Gmail settings and click "Save Changes." This will save the newly created signature and apply it immediately.

Step 1: Saving the image and customized code

  1. Right-click on the Best Lawyers image and click "Save picture as.." (Internet Explorer) or "Save image as.." (Chrome) on the context menu.
  2. Name and save the image to your computer. Then copy the customized code and paste it into any text editor (Notepad, Word, etc.)

Step 2:

  1. Create a new email.

    Image showing where the New E-mail icon is located in Outlook

  2. Click on the "Signature" icon and select "Signatures...".

    Image showing where the Signatures icon is located in Outlook

  3. On the "E-mail Signature" tab, click "New" and enter a name for the new signature.

    Image demonstrating how to add a name for a new signature in Outlook

Step 3:

  1. With the signature created in Step 2 selected, click on the "Insert Picture" icon and add the image saved in Step 1.

    Image showing where the Insert Picture icon is located in Outlook

  2. After adding the image, select the image and click the "Insert Hyperlink" icon.

    Image showing where the Insert Hyperlink icon is located in Outlook

  3. Make sure that "Existing File or Web Page" is selected under "Link to:". Replace the text in the "Address" text box with the "href" value from the customized code saved in Step 1.
    1. Example:
      href=' https://www.bestlawyers.com/firms/firm-name/*****/** '
      href=' https://www.bestlawyers.com/lawyers/lawyer-name/***** '

    Image demonstrating how to add a profile link to the logo image in Outlook

Step 4:

  1. After Steps 1 - 3 have been completed, to add the signature to an email, select the recently created signature from the "Signature" icon.