What is a Super Lawyer?
When you’re trying to find the right lawyer to handle your case, you might take a look at their website and see a list of several different titles, credentials, and distinctions. One special distinction you might see is that of “Super Lawyer.” Scott Goodwin is proud to have been named a “Super Lawyer”. But what is a “Super Lawyer,” anyway, and how does one earn that distinction?
When a lawyer is considered a “Super Lawyer,” it means they have been recognized by their peers as being an outstanding lawyer and have been thoroughly researched to make sure they do, indeed, live up to their reputation.
Super Lawyers is a rating service that aims to create a comprehensive and diverse list of some of most noteworthy attorneys currently working. The most important thing they want to achieve with their list is to create a directory that the general public can trust. Lawyers who work at law firms of all sizes are eligible to be named “Super Lawyers” and the lawyers you’ll find on this list practice in over 70 different areas of law. They look for lawyers who are highly respected by their peers and have had a strong record of professional achievement.
Super Lawyers publishes their list annually in Super Lawyers magazine, which is distributed to attorneys in all 50 states and ABA-approved law school libraries. The list is also published as a supplement in many newspapers and magazines. All lawyers who have ever earned the “Super Lawyer” distinction are profiled on the Super Lawyers website.
Every year, Super Lawyers invites lawyers to nominate fellow attorneys they’ve personally seen in action and believe deserve to have the title of “Super Lawyer.” Lawyers are not able to nominate themselves, but they can be nominated by other lawyers who work at the same law firm or at other law firms as long as they practice in the same state. However, nominations by lawyers from other law firms carry more weight and in-firm nominations will only count if there’s another nomination from an outside law firm to match it. Super Lawyers carefully watches nominations to look for patterns and behavior that might suggest a lawyer is campaigning for nominations or strategic nominations. The number of nominations a person receives doesn’t necessarily guarantee a person will be named a Super Lawyer.
Once the nomination period is complete, the Super Lawyers staff starts researching the nominees. Their research team evaluates candidates in 12 different areas: Special licenses and certifications, honors and awards, experience, representative clients, transactions, verdicts and settlements, their position within the law firm, activity in the bar association, pro bono work and community service, scholarly lectures and writing, education and employment background, and other outstanding achievements.
Candidates with the highest amounts of points in their particular area of practice are then asked to serve on a panel to evaluate their other nominated peers. Lastly, Super Lawyers organizes the nominees into different categories based on the size of the law firm where they work. They also check to ensure remaining candidates are currently in good standing with their licensing authorities and that there is no information on the Internet which could reflect poorly on the lawyer. Candidates also must have never been the subject of professional or criminal proceedings.
When the final list of “Super Lawyers” has been published, it reflects no more than 5% of all lawyers in a state. So when a lawyer makes the Super Lawyers list, it means they’re one of the very top lawyers in the state where they practice.