It is extremely difficult for attorneys to distinguish themselves in the legal marketplace. Sure, lawyers can discuss their educational background and experience, but these accomplishments alone may not convince a prospective client to sign with a particular attorney. In order to get a leg up in the marketplace, many lawyers apply for a variety of attorney awards and submit information to be listed in attorney rankings. Although there are some lawyer rankings and awards that are truly prestigious and helpful in distinguishing attorneys, there are many lawyer rankings and awards that really don’t serve any purpose other than to boost the egos of those who receive these accolades.

As many legal practitioners know, there are a variety of attorney awards and rankings within the legal profession. Many of these rankings are based on nominations made by other attorneys or by how extensively an attorney has engaged in a website operated by the ranking organization. Other than reviewing some basic qualifications of people who apply for these rankings, there does not appear to be an extensive vetting process associated with many of the lawyer rankings and awards people use to promote themselves in the legal marketplace. In addition, some of the lawyer rankings have odd-sounding names that should alert even a casual observer to the chintzy nature of these accolades.

Many bar authorities have cautioned practitioners about using various lawyer rankings and awards in advertising. Some states even require that attorneys place disclaimers on advertisements which convey an attorney’s selection for particular awards and rankings . Nevertheless, a number of chintzy awards and rankings abound in the legal profession.

Lawyer rankings are just one part of the “ego industry” that is prevalent in many fields and at many times in people’s lives. Individuals want to feel good about themselves, and there will always be companies and organizations who can profit off of this underlying desire. I first found this out when I was a high school student and I received a letter informing me that I had been selected for inclusion in a list of accomplished high school students. I was really excited […]

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