Perhaps you’ve heard of the illustrious Super Lawyers, a ratings and legal promotion system that provides consumers and fellow professionals with data on outstanding lawyers. Only those who exhibit true excellence can be featured on Super Lawyers, making it all the more acclaimed – and competitive.
Given all this prestige, it’s easy to assume that being nominated is a nearly impossible thing to achieve. And, while there’s no denying that the vetting and selection processes that Super Lawyers undergoes are rigorous, it’s certainly not an impossible feat to achieve.
So, what exactly is Super Lawyers? How does this ratings organization impact the legal profession and affect consumer choices? What are the benefits of Super Lawyer nominations, and moreover, what are the nomination standards? Not only will we address all these questions, but we’ll also offer our tips on how to boost your chances of being nominated for Super Lawyers as well as boosting your practice – and law firm’s marketability – immediately.
What Is Super Lawyers?
As we’ve mentioned, Super Lawyers is a rating service that ranks lawyers across the country using a patented nomination process as well as selectively researching their background, achievements, and professional development using multiple criteria standards. The selection process rounds out by using a third step of peer review, conducted by fellow attorneys from the same practice area.
What Are the Nomination Standards?
As part of the nomination process, candidates are researched and reviewed based on several different standards across multiple aspects of one’s legal career. There are 12 indicators in total, spanning over factors such as education background and work history, Bar activity, scholarly contributions, law firm positions, community outreach and pro bono work, awards and honors, and, of course, trials and settlements, transactional achievements, and clientele.
Taken in conjunction with formal and informal nominations (which we will discuss in more detail later), these aspects make up the foundation of the evaluative criteria which Super Lawyers uses to make nominee decisions.
What Is Super Lawyers’ Impact on the Industry?
Super Lawyers is responsible for nominating outstanding attorneys in over 70 practice areas using a patented tri-level method: first beginning with peer nominations, then involving independent research of credentials, and finally ending with peer reviews and evaluations.
By ensuring that high standards are always met by candidates and nominees, Super Lawyers has become a reliable and impactful source of information for both legal professionals and clients. Its multimedia presence (mostly digital and print) also means wide exposure among industry professionals and potential clients.
Simply put: As a tool to seek out great lawyers, its influence can’t be understated.
4 Benefits to Being Nominated for Super Lawyers
So, what are the benefits to being nominated? Of course, it goes without saying that almost anytime you’re nominated for something as a lawyer, there are very few negative effects. Such is the case with Super Lawyers.
In fact, Super Lawyers has so much clout online and in the legal community that receiving publicity from them can actually boost your legal practice overall. Here’s how:
1. Super Lawyers Is Incredibly Selective
If you were to be nominated for Super Lawyers, you can rest assured that they do their “legal homework,” so to speak. When undertaking the selection and nomination process, Super Lawyers uses a (literally) patented system to choose the absolute best qualified candidates across a given state.
Throughout the rigors of selection and research, Super Lawyers ensures that its selected lawyers truly are the cream of the crop. If they deem you or another attorney at your law firm to be the real deal, it’s incredibly flattering and should be taken seriously – Super Lawyers sure does.
2. Nomination Means More Marketing Outreach
Whether it be print, online publication, social media followers, or more, Super Lawyers is a marketing powerhouse within the legal community. It’s viewed as a credible source for information about lawyers by not only lawyers themselves, but also by those who are seeking out legal services.
Being honored with a nomination from Super Lawyers may very well mean being featured in their press and digital marketing, which means even broader marketing outreach for you and your firm. And the best part? You aren’t paying a cent.
3. Nomination Could Lead to Better Professional Development
Not only are you catapulted into a new, wider marketing demographic when nominated, but you’re also able to undergo more professional development by being selected.
Since a nomination would mean being surrounded by and recognized alongside some of the leading legal professionals in your state, the professional benefits alone shouldn’t be overlooked or left unconsidered.
Having new access and grounds on which to make further business and legal peer connections is almost always a positive thing and can leave your practice – and firm’s marketing – much better off.
4. Super Lawyers Can Solidify Your Standing in the Legal Community over the Long Term
Sure, you’re already a great lawyer. Your education and years of expertise has already proven this. But, to the outside world, you could just be one choice out of several hundreds (or even thousands) of lawyers in your community who also specialize in your practice area(s).
A nomination by Super Lawyers could mean wider, longer-term exposure as a leading expert in your field for months or years to come. So yes, you’re already a great lawyer; Super Lawyers merely heightens that recognition and markets toward anyone who uses their data as a platform off which to base their legal representation decisions.
How to Make It Happen: 5 Tips for Getting Nominated for Super Lawyers in Your State
With only an estimated five percent of all lawyers in a given state being nominated for Super Lawyers, it’s fair to say that the nomination process isn’t necessarily an easy one. But, as we’ve already mentioned, being nominated definitely has its professional and marketing benefits.
If you or someone in your firm is serious about being nominated for Super Lawyers, check out the following tips for how to increase your chances of being nominated a “Super Lawyer” in your state:
1. Develop a Wide Professional Network in Your Community
First and foremost, Super Lawyers’ candidate nominations are largely based upon peer nominations submitted by other legal professionals from the same state. By developing a greater professional network, you can naturally “up” your chances of receiving a nomination by a fellow professional who observes your work in action.
Fortunately, even though the peer nomination process is a focal point of Super Lawyers’ selection method, there are also many safeguards against “gaming” the nomination system. For example, Super Lawyers takes into account acts of mutual nomination (they term this “back scratching”) as well as “block nominations,” which they define as submitting the same nomination en masse.
Further, because attorneys cannot nominate themselves and outside nominations are weighted more than in-firm submissions, it pays to have a wide professional network to increase the probability that someone may nominate you as a Super Lawyer.
If you don’t already have a wide network among your legal peers, consider attending more professional development conferences in your state, taking on more pro bono work, or otherwise finding ways to meet and connect with fellow lawyers who are doing stellar work for their communities and clients.
2. Don’t Forget about Informal Nominations
While formal nominations from other legal professionals are the most commonly recognized first step in the nomination process, Super Lawyers also accepts what it calls “informal nominations,” or recommendations from a variety of individuals who cannot formally submit a nomination. In order to be qualified to formally submit, one must be an “actively licensed” attorney who practices in the same state.
Should peers who practice in other states, clients, or others want to recommend an attorney to Super Lawyers, the organization considers this in tandem with other nominations and criteria. So, while informal nominations certainly aren’t as significant as a formal nomination, don’t completely discount their impact within the selection process.
3. Be as Active as Possible in Community Service
After the formal and informal nomination process is underway, Super Lawyers begins reviewing candidates using several criteria. One of the matrices by which Super Lawyers judges potential nominees (in addition to legal performance, education, firm position, and much more, of course) is by how active an attorney is in community service and pro bono work.
While you may not be able to alter your education history or boost your legal track record overnight, seeking to become more involved in meaningful community service is a relatively easy way to accrue more nominations and look even better under Super Lawyers’ research spotlight.
4. Contribute to Academic or Scholarly Work
If possible, consider becoming involved in legal writing, scholarly lectures, professional reviews, and other outlets that allow you to contribute your legal opinions in open forums. Regardless of whether or not you opt to write scholarly legal works or volunteer as a guest lecturer at the university level, even seeking small modes by which to contribute ideas (think, for example, speaking at a conference) can be beneficial toward a Super Lawyers nomination.
5. Consider Special Certifications That Will Advance Your Practice
By advancing your educational and professional base through pursuing certifications or special licenses, it not only shows your continued dedication to your practice, but also dedication to your personal and professional development overall.
While this is only one criterion among a long list of others that are frequently considered by Super Lawyers, it can and will have an impact on not only your potential selection as a candidate, but also on your advancement within the legal community and your attainment of new clients.
Interested in Advancing Your Firm’s Marketing via Super Lawyers?
If you are interested in learning more about how to advance your firm’s specific, strategic marketing plan, contact us today.
Here at Black Fin, we specialize in web design, content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media outreach. We can employ several techniques, tailored specifically to your law firm, that will help to promote and optimize your digital marketing scheme in ways that reach more clients. This is so you can worry less about marketing and more about providing your clientele with excellent legal services.
If you’re ready to take your marketing (whether it be Super Lawyers nominations or a vast number of other promotional options) to the next level, contact us now. We’re ready to begin working with you immediately.