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 can I nominate lawyers 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 lawyers.

  • 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 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 warranted 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 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.

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

    No. A lawyer can only be put forth for one publication type at a given time.

Methodology & Our History

  • How does a lawyer become recognized by Best Lawyers?

    The first step is for a lawyer 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 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 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
    13 2007
    14 2008
    Edition Number Edition Year
    15 2009
    16 2010
    17 2011
    18 2012
    19 2013
    20 2014
    21 2015
    22 2016
    23 2017
    24 2018
    25 2019
    26 2020
    27 2021
    28 2022
  • Does Best Lawyers share updates on legal news and trends?


Inclusions & Announcements

  • 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 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 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 lawyers 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 lawyers 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 17 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 lawyers highlighted in Best Lawyers appear?

    Our annual publications appear online at, 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, which are 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 lawyers promote their recognitions. Please see our full product line available online or contact your Legal Media Specialist.


  • 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 his or her 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?

    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 Star Would absolutely recommend
    2 Star Would most likely not recommend
    4 Star Would likely recommend
    1 Star Would not recommend
    3 Star Would possibly recommend
    Do not know / cannot comment
    5 Star Would absolutely recommend
    4 Star Would likely recommend
    3 Star Would possibly recommend
    2 Star Would most likely not recommend
    1 Star Would not recommend
    Do not know / cannot comment

    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 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 editorial timeline for your country.

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

  • 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 the Best Lawyers list.

  • 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 list, voters can provide feedback on candidates at their own firm if they are nominated in the same practice areas.

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".

    Image demonstrating where the settings menu is located

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

    Image demonstrating where the signature options are
  • Step 2: Inserting the image

    Click on the "Insert Image" icon.

    Image demonstrating where the Insert Image icon is located

    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.

    src='****/US/S/Basic.png '

    Image demonstrating how to insert the link for the logo image
  • Step 3: Inserting hyperlink

    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

    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.

    href='*****/** '
    href='***** '

    Image demonstrating how to add a profile link to the logo image
  • 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.

    Image showing where the New E-mail icon is located

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

    Image showing where the Signatures icon is located

    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
  • 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.

    Image showing where the Insert Picture icon is located

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

    Image showing where the Insert Hyperlink icon is located

    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.

    href='*****/** '
    href='***** '

    Image demonstrating how to add a profile link to the logo image
  • 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.