Best Lawyers® is proud to embark on the 28th edition in the United States, marking the landmark 40th year for our esteemed listings. Since 1981, Best Lawyers has produced the most reliable, unbiased source for legal referrals. We highlight the extraordinary accomplishments of those in the legal profession with a list of outstanding lawyers compiled by conducting exhaustive peer review surveys. We are honored to announce the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

The first of its kind, Best Lawyers met the need for efficient legal recommendations in a time long before accessibility to the internet and search engines. What began as a small directory of names has grown into an internationally recognized brand. Known for a carefully curated list of attorneys, our sophisticated methodology yields the most accurate, authentic legal referrals for individuals, corporations and clients seeking legal counsel.

We asked Elizabeth Petit, Director of Research & Development and Managing Editor at Best Lawyers about the impacts of Best Lawyers on the legal industry over the last 40 years. “In an ever-crowded landscape, Best Lawyers helps give clients confidence in selecting the best legal talent for their needs as determined by those who know best, other top lawyers. As the only purely peer-review publication, we provide a service to clients by helping identify legal talent at no cost to clients or recognized attorneys. And as the need for legal services increases, we will be there to help highlight lawyers who continue to perform expert work.”

Candidates who are nominated for consideration are voted on by currently recognized lawyers working in the same practice area and located in the same geographic region. Our awards and recognitions are based purely on the feedback we receive from these top lawyers. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo a thorough verification process to ensure they are currently still in private practice. Only then can these top lawyers be recognized by Best Lawyers. So what makes this methodology so unique? According to Elizabeth, “Best Lawyers is singular in our peer review methodology. It is the opinion of our voters on their peers’ expertise that drives our recognitions. Other awards platforms consider resume submissions and financial participations when making their lists. Best Lawyers stands alone as no one can pay to be nominated or recognized and it is solely the feedback of voters that drives our individual awards.”

After receiving more than 10,000,000 peer evaluations, the professional excellence of 66,713 lawyers in 147 practice areas across the United States are recognized for 2022. There are 16,596 law firms across the country represented on this list. Best Lawyers honored approximately 5% of practicing lawyers in the United States, exemplifying the work of the most elite and top-rated lawyers in the country.

We are pleased to celebrate 5,824 “Lawyer of the Year” recipients across the United States. "Lawyer of the Year" honors are awarded annually to only one lawyer per practice area in each region with extremely high overall feedback from their peers, making it an exceptional distinction.

For 2022, we are also excited to announce our 2nd edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America. Eligibility for Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America includes being in private practice and a tenure of five to nine years. With the same methodology that is used for The Best Lawyers in America, our Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America list uses an advanced process of nominations, peer voting and careful evaluation of results to provide a list of the top legal talent in the industry among newer lawyers. For the 2022 Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America, we recognize 14,501 lawyers in 79 practice areas. Lawyers are listed in 2,866 firms across 187 metropolitan areas.

After so many years, it’s important to ask what prompted Best Lawyers to launch this new list, which currently produces lists in four countries with plans to grow in three more next year. Elizabeth said, “We saw a need in the industry to recognize talented attorneys earlier in their careers. It is not as if one just becomes a great lawyer when they make partner. Attorneys put in years of hard work to reach partner status and we wanted to identify emerging talent. Additionally, many clients will interact with associates on any given case. Thus, it’s important to help clients identify attorneys who have third-party vetting. And lastly, we wanted to give senior associates and other younger attorneys the opportunity to build a digital footprint just as the more senior attorneys have the ability to do.”

This year has undoubtedly had its challenges for so many. For Best Lawyers, we put in substantial work to persevere during a year of uncertainty. Elizabeth’s research team had the daunting task of undergoing the yearly nomination and voting process, many of them from their new-normal work from home set-ups. But not only did they maintain the yearly success, they exceeded it, with bigger lists and top levels of participation. Elizabeth said of her team and the past year, “While we all hoped to be back to business as usual by now, that unfortunately still isn’t the case. But the need for legal services has only increased during this time. Thus, it is our responsibility to continue our work to highlight and award the best in the industry. We pride ourselves on being collaborative partners with firms to ensure the proper candidates are nominated and to encourage voting participation as everything feeds from that process. I have a wonderful, dedicated team of researchers who strive to provide the best experience possible for our attorneys and marketing teams. We are better together and continue to strive to produce the best awards possible.”

Best Lawyers in America 2022 Stats

Publication Statistics

Here are highlights from the 2022 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America:

  • 66,713 Lawyers Recognized
  • 16,596 Firms with Listed Lawyers
  • 147 Practice Area

Top Metro Areas in the United States by Number of Listed Lawyers:

  • Washington D.C. – most listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
  • New York City – most listed in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America

Top 10 Practice Areas by Number of Recognized The Best Lawyers in America® Honorees:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Corporate Law
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Employment Law - Management
  • Family Law
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

Top 10 Practice Areas by Number of Recognized Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America Honorees:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Labor and Employment Law - Management
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Corporate Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

Top 10 Practice Areas Searched for on www.bestlawyers.com in the Last Year:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Family Law
  • Employment Law - Management
  • Corporate Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Bet-the-Company Litigation

 

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