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"

Additional recognitions are also awarded to individual lawyers with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region in a Best Lawyers edition. Only one lawyer is recognized as the "Lawyer of the Year" for each specialty and location.
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Ones to Watch

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognizes lawyers who have been in private practice for less than 10 years in the United States. Like traditional Best Lawyers awards, inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch is based on our Purely Peer Review methodology.
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"Law Firm of the Year"

In addition to individual awards, Best Lawyers also recognizes firm-wide talent in select regions. These awards are specific to a country and practice area. Lawyer feedback, case matters, as well as firm size, scope and coverage factor in to these recognitions.
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.
How Peer Review Powers Industry Referrals
Best Lawyers combines the trust of industry referrals with state-of-the-art technology to help clients find the right lawyer.
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Methodology Voting Stars