The practice of law becomes more competitive all the time. Lawyers are looking for any edge they can find to help them stand out in an extremely competitive legal market. This has created an industry of legal vanity and marketing organizations whose primary agenda is to promote their members. Two of the most well known and respected organizations are Lawyers of Distinction and Super Lawyers. While these two legal vanity groups are different, they both do a great job of promoting their members both in print and online advertisements year round.
With all the different legal vanity organizations in existence, Lawyers of Distinction was started in 2014 in an effort to create an organization with objectively based verifiable standards for admitting members. Based on U.S. Provisional Patent # 62/743,254 Lawyers of Distinction uses twelve different criteria in evaluating potential members. These criteria include: Case Results, Honors/Awards, Google Reviews, Avvo Reviews, Legal Experience, Educational Background, Verdicts/Settlements, Special Certifications, Representative Clients, Professional Activities, Pro Bono/Community, and Lectures/Writings/Publications. Currently, thousands of people visit the Lawyers of Distinction website daily. Unlike most competitors, Lawyers of Distinction does not refer clients to specific attorneys and therefore is not a lawyer referral service.
Further, if accepted for membership with Lawyers of Distinction, there are tons of different benefits for members to enjoy such as: A Custom 14” x 11 “ genuine rosewood plaque; 11 “ tall translucent personalized crystal statute (distinguished members only); Comprehensive and personalized member profile within the Lawyers of Distinction Member Directory (Each member has a customized profile page with picture, link to your website, Google Maps, and favorable reviews from GOOGLE, AVVO, and Yelp); Use of Lawyers of Distinction logo and trademarked materials for member website and marketing; National press release announcing this honor for immediate publication; Social media (Each member receives a new membership announcement on Facebook and Instagram and access to the Members Only Private Facebook Group); Membership Roster published throughout the year both in print and online in New York Times, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, USA Today, and Local Bar Periodicals; Over $5,000 in annual member discounts at national vendors including Hertz, Avis, Hilton, Marriott and more; and New Brochures with inserts for your business card to display your law firm.
Unlike Lawyers of Distinction which has only been around since 2014, Super Lawyers has been in existence since 1991, when Minnesota Law & Politics published its first Super Lawyers edition. In 2010 Thomson Reuters Announced it would acquire Super Lawyers. One of Thomas Reuters key priorities from day one was to keep the independence and integrity of Super Lawyer ratings. Super Lawyers recognizes no more than 5 percent of attorneys in each state. Like Lawyers of Distinction, Super Lawyers also does not refer clients to specific attorneys and is also not a lawyer referral service.
Similar to Lawyers of Distinction, Super Lawyers also has a patented selection process which aims to be as objective as possible. Like Lawyers of Distinction, Super Lawyers uses twelve criteria in evaluating their potential members including: Verdicts/Settlements, Transactions, Representative Clients, Experience, Honors/Awards, Special Licenses/Certifications, Promotion within the Law Firm, Bar and/or Professional Activity, Pro Bono/Community Service, Scholarly Lectures/ Writings, Education/Employment background, and Other Outstanding Achievements.
Also, similar to Lawyers of Distinctions newly formed Steering Committee which is member run, Super Lawyers has an Advisory Board which is also member run and helps with the operations of running the organization. Like Lawyers of Distinction, Super Lawyers also has a member directory which allows the public to search for attorneys by name, state, or area of practice. Both Super Lawyers and Lawyers of Distinction has members in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
If accepted into Super Lawyers, members can enjoy numerous benefits similar to Lawyers of Distinction such as a customized profile page, use of the Super Lawyers logo and trademarked materials for member website and marketing, and a national press release announcing the honor for immediate publication. Like Lawyers of Distinction, Super Lawyers is also very active with promoting their members on social media. Some of the other benefits offered that are unique to Super Lawyers include: “Ask a Lawyer Feature” where one can find top attorneys answering state specific legal questions for you, Digital magazine and a mobile app to be able to access Super Lawyers on the run, “Member Videos” where Super Lawyers members discuss relevant legal topics, and Lawyer Login Feature, where the member can log into their profile and make changes.
While Lawyers of Distinction and Super Lawyers share many similarities, there are also some major difference between the two. One notable difference is that Super Lawyers does not offer any type of plaque or crystal to display for membership. Also, Super Lawyers also does not offer any type of discount club. Another difference between the two organizations is that Super Lawyers has a unique category for attorneys known as The Rising Stars. The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state. To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less. Currently, Lawyers of Distinction does not have a separate section for younger attorneys.
Moreover, the organizations nomination process differ as well. Super Lawyers allows you too nominate up to twenty one attorneys. These twenty one attorneys include: seven in-firm, seven out-of-firm and seven Rising Stars candidates. Lawyers of Distinction limits nominations to ten per person. Lawyers of Distinction does let you know who nominated you, while Super Lawyers does not.
Another notable difference is that Super Lawyers distributes The Super Lawyers Magazine, which is distributed to attorneys and law schools in the state. Super Lawyers is also published as a special section in leading city and regional magazines across the country. While Lawyers of Distinction does not have a magazine, they do distribute member news every month in the Lawyers of Distinction Member News Email. Further, Lawyers of Distinction publishes membership roisters throughout the year in leading legal periodicals such as: The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and Trial Magazine. Lawyers of Distinction also publishes membership rosters in The New York Times, USA Today, and Local Bar Periodicals.
In conclusion, while Lawyers of Distinction and Super Lawyers are both different legal vanity organizations, they both do a tremendous job of getting the maximum amount of exposure for their members in an ever increasing competitive legal market. If attorneys want to be able to stand out from a competition, two of the best organizations they can join for exposure include Lawyers of Distinction and Super Lawyers.