Methodology Process

Best Lawyers has employed the same transparent methodology for four decades. We are purely peer review.

Our Methodology

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our methodology 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.

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 belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.

"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. Only one lawyer is recognized as the "Lawyer of the Year" for each specialty and location.

"Law Firm of the Year"

Best Lawyers has launched a new firm award in select markets, titled "Law Firm of the Year." These awards are country and practice area specific. They are determined based on a handful of factors, including: feedback from lawyers recognized by Best Lawyers on individual lawyer and firm-wide work, the size and coverage of the firm in a specific practice area, historical analysis of the firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards in this area, and research surrounding the firm’s overall scope and areas of expertise.

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch awards recognize extraordinary lawyers who have been in private practice for less than 10 years in the United States. Like traditional Best Lawyers awards, a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognition is based entirely on peer review.

Our Process

  • 1

    Lawyers can be nominated by anyone but themselves.

  • 2
    Peer Review

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

  • 3
    Analysis of Feedback

    Results are collected and feedback from voters is reviewed.

  • 4
    Eligibility Check

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

  • 5
    Results Released

    Firms are informed of the results and the newly recognized lawyers are published in print and online.

Best Lawyers Lexicon

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 publications.
  • Nominees will appear on voter ballots for confidential peer evaluation.
  • Nominees 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.
  • Nominations can be submitted online or through email at

Recognized Lawyer"Listee" or "Listed Lawyer"

  • A person currently recognized by Best Lawyers for his or her talent in the legal industry.
  • 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.
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