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.

Nominations

  • How can I nominate attorneys for consideration in Best Lawyers?

    Nominations can be submitted without an account through our public site. If you already have an account with us, please log in to submit additional nominations.

  • Who should be nominated for Best Lawyers?

    We recommend that nominees be in practice for at least 10 years in order to give them time to build a legal presence in their community and practice areas. Nominees also must be in private practice. Best Lawyers does not accept nominations for in-house attorneys.

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

    There is no limit.

  • Is there a limit to the number of Practice Areas an attorney can be nominated for?

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

  • Do attorneys 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 keep all nominees on the ballots automatically for three editions. For countries that have had 10 or more editions, we will archive nominations if after three research cycles the nominee has still not warrented inclusion. At this point, they will be archived and must be re-nominated for future consideration.

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

    Please re-submit the nomination following the call for nominations. (This usually occurs in October for the United States and Canada.) For any questions about when to nominate, please feel free to contact us at info@bestlawyers.com or 001-803-648-0300.

  • Who has been nominated from my firm?

    Please visit your Firm Dashboard or contact us and we'll send you this report.

Methodology & Our History

  • How does a lawyer become recognized by Best Lawyers?

    The first step is for an attorney to be nominated. For the full editorial process, please visit our Methodology page.

  • When was the First Edition of Best Lawyers published?

    The Best Lawyers in America was first published in 1983.

  • 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 70 countries around the world.

    Country publications
  • How many editions of Best Lawyers have been published?

    For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has continuously recognized top legal talent. The Twenty-Third Edition of The Best Lawyers in America was published on August 15, 2016. Additional country publications began in 2007 and editorial schedules vary based on country.

    Edition Number Edition 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
    11 2005
    12 2006
    Edition Number Edition Year
    13 2007
    14 2008
    15 2009
    16 2010
    17 2011
    18 2012
    19 2013
    20 2014
    21 2015
    22 2016
    23 2017

Inclusions & Announcements

  • How are attorneys 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 receive a complete list of the attorneys from their firm who will be recognized in the upcoming edition.

  • When are attorneys notified of their inclusion?

    Release dates vary by country. Please check your country's editorial 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 on your Firm Dashboard. 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 attorneys and firms time to review before the publication date. Visit your country's editorial 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" designation 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 attorneys and is in no way related to the "Best Law Firms" rankings. You can view your "Top Listed" awards through your Firm Dashboard.

  • 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 11 global markets.

Publicizing Guidelines, Marketing & Public Relations

  • 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 attorneys 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 recognized attorneys appear in The Best Lawyers in America book, which is also available for purchase.

  • What Marketing opportunities are available to firms with highlighted lawyers?

    Best Lawyers offers a number of marketing opportunities to highlighted lawyers, including Custom Publications, online profiles, and more. For details, please contact your Legal Media Specialist.

  • What commemorative products does Best Lawyers offer highlighted lawyers?

    Best Lawyers offers plaques, crystals, logos, badges, and more to help highlighted attorneys promote their recognitions. Please see our full product line available online or contact your Legal Media Specialist.

Voting

  • Who is allowed to vote?

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

  • Can attorneys vote on themselves?

    No, attorneys are not allowed to vote on themselves. Thus, a voter's name will not appear on his or her ballot.

  • Can attorneys 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 attorneys?

    We ask voting lawyers the same question: "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 - Would definitely refer a case
    • 4 - Very likely to refer a case
    • 3 - Might refer a case
    • 2 - Not likely to refer a case
    • 1 - Definitely would not refer a case

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

  • Can voting attorneys add names to their ballots?

    No. Ballots are custom built based on the voter’s regional location and practice areas. Voting attorneys 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 editorial timeline for your country.

Logos in Email Signatures

Select your email client:
  • Step 1: Creating the signature

    Click on the cog in the upper right-hand corner and select "Settings".

    Under the "General" tab, scroll down to the signature option and selected the signature radio button.

  • Step 2: Inserting the image

    Click on the "Insert Image" icon.

    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.

    Example:
    src=' https://www.bestlawyers.com/Logos/ListedFirm/****/US/S/Basic.png '

  • Step 3: Inserting hyperlink

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

    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.

    Example:
    href=' http://www.bestlawyers.com/firms/firm-name/*****/** '
    href=' http://www.bestlawyers.com/lawyers/lawyer-name/***** '

  • Step 4: Saving and applying

    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

    Right-click on the Best Lawyers image and click "Save picture as.." (Internet Explorer) or "Save image as.." (Chrome) on the context menu. 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: Creating a signature

    Create a new email.

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

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

  • Step 3: Adding the image and hyperlink to the signature

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

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

    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.

    Example:
    href=' http://www.bestlawyers.com/firms/firm-name/*****/** '
    href=' http://www.bestlawyers.com/lawyers/lawyer-name/***** '

  • Step 4: Adding the created signature to emails

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