The National Association of Distinguished Counsel uses a thorough and objective, multi-step selection process. Candidates are either nominated for this inclusion or identified by an in-house research team. Nominations are accepted from fellow attorneys, current or former clients, and members of the NADC. 

Once a candidate is nominated, they go through a lengthy vetting process by NADC and researchers. The information that is considered in this review process is acquired through information that is publicly available. This information includes public profiles, client reviews, attorneys’ websites, and case results. 

The NADC Research team considers factors that include but are not limited to the firm profile and reputation, education, years of practice, trial experience, case outcomes, client reviews, professional awards, training, professional membership, peer endorsements, leadership in legal organizations, disciplinary status, community involvement, and other relevant factors. 

A blue-ribbon panel of lawyers analyzes these results. The lawyers on this blue-ribbon panel have achieved podium status in their own right through several independent organizations that are separate from the NADC. While analyzing the results, the blue-ribbon panel makes a careful determination as to who among their peers possesses the skill, background, and accomplishments to serve as an example to other lawyers. 

The result is a list of lawyers who are considered to be truly elite. A judicial review board that is led by a group of former judges weighs in on the final candidates in order to ensure that those who are named “Nation’s Top Attorneys” have embodied the ideals of the legal profession. 

The judicial review board finalizes the process of selecting the lawyers whose performance, reputation, character, and virtue exhibit the qualities becoming of an Officer of the Court. 

For more information on the selection process of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel Top One Percent, click here.

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National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” 

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only agency that is made up of distinguished trial lawyers from each state who meet rigorous qualifications as criminal defense trial or civil plaintiff lawyers. Selection to this organization is based on a multi-phase objective and uniform process that includes peer nominations and third-party research. Membership to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is only extended to a select few of the most qualified lawyers from each state who demonstrate excellent qualifications of influence, leadership, reputation, stature and public profile, all of which are measured by objectively applied standards that are in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7. 

It should be emphasized that The National Trial Lawyers confers their award on more than 100 lawyers in America. The organization confers the award on 100 attorneys in each state; and some states may be divided into regions, with 100 attorneys receiving the award in each region. The award is, therefore, conferred on at least 100 lawyers per state, not 100 lawyers in America.

For more information on the selection process of National Trial Lawyers, click here

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Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Founded in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum sets rigorous standards for membership. Applicants must prove they have secured a judgment, award, or settlement of at least one million dollars as Principal Counsel. The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, introduced in 2007, applies to cases exceeding two million dollars.

Invitations go out to seemingly qualified attorneys based on case reports or current member nominations. Membership applications are scrutinized and require Bar-certified accuracy. False statements could lead to disciplinary action.

Application reviews typically take two weeks. Approved members receive an email notification, a certificate, and a press release for distribution at their discretion. The application involves a one-time fee, and members must maintain good standing with the Bar to continue membership. No additional fees are required.

Membership criteria have been revised since 1993 to accommodate different case scenarios, while maintaining strict qualification standards.

For more information on the criteria to be met to obtain membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, including payment of the fee, click here.

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Super Lawyers®

Super Lawyers employs a patented, multi-step process for attorney selection, aiming to generate a trustworthy list of top lawyers. The process is state-specific and annual, and its purpose is to aid both consumers and lawyers in selecting legal counsel.

Step 1: Nominations: Lawyers enter the pool through peer nominations or research team identification. In-firm nominations must be matched by at least one out-firm nomination, each carrying different point values. Self-nominations and ‘gaming the system’ are prohibited.

Step 2: Research: The research team evaluates each candidate based on 12 criteria such as verdicts, experience, and honors. These criteria have varying point values.

Step 3: Peer Evaluation: Top-scoring candidates undergo a ‘blue ribbon review’ where they are evaluated by their peers in the same practice area on a scale of one to five.

Step 4: Final Selection: Candidates are grouped by firm size, and the highest scorers in each group are chosen. A maximum of 5% of state lawyers make it to the Super Lawyers list. Finalists undergo disciplinary and background checks.

Publication: The final list is published annually in various platforms, and those included are also listed on

Rising Stars: This category is for lawyers who are either under 40 or have been in practice for less than 10 years. The selection process mirrors that of Super Lawyers, with the exception of age and experience limits. Only 2.5% of state lawyers are named to the Rising Stars list.

For more information on the Super Lawyers selection process, click here

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The Avvo Rating is an effort to evaluate a lawyer’s background based on the information available in an attorney’s Avvo profile. Avvo creates the rating using a model that considers information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information collected from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Any information that affects the Avvo Rating is visible in an attorney’s profile. Avvo does not provide a numerical rating for profiles that have not been claimed by that attorney.

  • How the Avvo Rating is calculated. The rating is calculated using a mathematical model, and all lawyers are evaluated on the same set of standards.
  • The Avvo Rating cannot be bought. Attorneys can’t pay to improve their ratings.
  • It was developed by legal professionals and people looking for legal services. The model used to calculate the rating was developed with input from hundreds of attorneys, thousands of consumers, and many other legal professionals who deeply understand the work attorneys do. The Avvo Rating was created to reflect the type of information people have identified as important when looking to hire an attorney.
  • Ratings are on a scale of 1-10. Ratings fall on a scale of 1 (Extreme Caution) to 10 (Superb), helping to quickly assess a lawyer’s background based on their rating.

For more information on the Avvo Rating, click here.

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Best Law Firms®

Best Law Firms® rankings are prestigious awards that recognize law firms for professional excellence based on consistent positive feedback from clients and peers. Covering both national and 188 metropolitan areas, these rankings consider 75 practice areas at the national level and up to 127 practice areas at the metro level.

Eligibility & Process: Firms are eligible if they have at least one lawyer listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in a relevant practice area. The submission process involves Client/Professional Reference submissions and a Law Firm Survey.

Client & Professional References: Firms submit contacts from both clients and professionals like judges or opposing counsel. These contacts then receive custom surveys ranking the firm on a 1-5 scale in various categories. This feedback contributes to the firm’s overall score.

Law Firm Survey: This annual survey collects demographic and marketing data, contributing to the firm’s overall ranking. There are two versions of the survey based on firm size to cater to differing needs.

For more information on the Best Law Firms® selection process, click here

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American Board of Trial Advocates

Membership is by invitation, only.  Any trial lawyer who is of high personal character and honorable reputation, and who is a member of the Bar of the State, province, district, territory or country in which he or she practices, and who has met the qualifications listed below, may become a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates upon nomination, election, and payment of initiation fees and dues.

Regardless of the number of trial experience equivalency points an applicant may have accumulated, an applicant MUST have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel for the minimum requirements to have been met, and those civil jury trials MUST be listed on the application. (All applications must first be approved by a local Chapter of ABOTA).  

For more information on the criteria to be met to obtain membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates, including payment of the fee, click here.

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Lead Counsel Verified

The Lead Counsel Verification serves as a tool for consumers and businesses to assess an attorney’s credibility and expertise. To earn this verification, an attorney must have significant experience in the legal area for which they seek verification. Each applicant undergoes a thorough review by the Lead Counsel Team, including a check for any disciplinary actions by their state bar.

Verified attorneys commit to upholding service standards that include treating clients respectfully, providing competent representation, maintaining ethical conduct, and remaining in good standing with relevant bar associations. They also commit to prompt communication, transparent fee structures, and staying current in their area of practice.

For more information on Lead Counsel’s verification process, click here

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New Jersey Supreme Court “Certified Attorney”

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Attorney Certification Program aims to connect litigants with highly qualified specialists in various legal fields, including civil trial law, criminal trial law, matrimonial law, municipal court law, and workers’ compensation law. Established in 1980, the program safeguards consumers against false advertising and enhances attorney competence.

Requirements for certification include:

  • Being a member of the New Jersey Bar for at least five years
  • Completing a set number of continuing legal education courses in the last three years
  • Showing substantial involvement in litigated matters
  • Submitting character references from attorneys and judges
  • Passing a written specialty exam

The program is administered by the nine-member New Jersey Supreme Court Board on Attorney Certification, which is responsible for all aspects including financials, policies, and rule-making. The Board also hears appeals from attorneys who disagree with certification decisions.

For more information on the criteria to be met to obtain certification by the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Attorney Certification Program, including payment of the fee, click here.