Super Lawyers is a Rating Service for Outstanding Lawyers
Super Lawyers is a nationwide rating service of outstanding lawyers in various practice areas. Super Lawyers has a selection process which includes peer nominations and peer evaluations and independent research to confirm the credentials of the selected attorneys. Only five percent of the attorneys across the country are selected for Super Lawyers. The three steps of the selection process are described below.
Step One is the Creation of the Candidate Pool
Lawyers enter the candidate pool by either being formally nominated by a peer, or identified by the research department. There are safeguards in place so that large firms with many attorneys are not given any preference over a smaller law firm or over a sole practitioner. The nomination phase is important but it does not guarantee selection.
During step one an attorney-led research staff searches the lawyers who have attained certain honors, results or credentials, which would indicate a high degree of peer recognition or professional competence. This helps the research department to identify lawyers in the smaller firms or from smaller communities. It is also important to identify lawyers in very narrow areas of specialty.
Step Two is the Evaluation of Lawyers in the Candidate Pool
The research department now evaluates each candidate based upon various indicators of professional achievement. These can include verdicts and settlements, experience, honors and awards, special licenses and certifications, activity in the local bars and national bars, scholarly writings and other outstanding achievements.
Step Three is the Peer Evaluation by Practice Area
Here the candidates are grouped according to their primary area of practice. Candidates are then grouped into four firm-sized categories. Those with the highest point totals from each category are selected. This means solo and small-firm lawyers are compared with other solo and small-firm lawyers, and large-firm lawyers compete with other large-firm lawyers. As stated above, five percent of the total lawyers in this state are selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers.
Publication of Super Lawyers
The yearly selection of each state's Super Lawyers is announced in Super Lawyers Magazine. Pennsylvania announces its Super Lawyers in approximately May of each year. All attorneys across the country selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers can be found on superlawyers.com. Attorney Doug Stoehr has been selected for Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Good to Know Information
Super Lawyers does not permit a lawyer to "buy one's way onto the list." The process cannot be manipulated. In fact, the Super Lawyers selection process has been endorsed by some courts and bar associations across the United States. For example, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the findings of a Special Master assigned by the court to, among other things; examine the details of the Super Lawyer process. The Special Master stated the following about the lawyer-rating process:
"The Super Lawyer selection process is a comprehensive-good-faith and detailed attempt to produce a list of lawyers that have attained high peer recognition, meet ethical standards and have demonstrated some degree of achievement in their field. The selection procedure employed by Super Lawyers is very sophisticated, comprehensive and complex. It is absolutely clear from the records that Super Lawyers does not permit a lawyer to buy one's way onto the list."
Attorney Stoehr's profile can be found at Superlawyers.com.