The American Institute of Trial Lawyers vs. Lawyers of Distinction

The legal industry is becoming more and more competitive as time goes on. Attorneys are seeking any upper hand that will allow them to stand apart in this incredibly competitive field. The competitive nature of the industry has spawned several legal vanity organizations whose primary goal is to promote and market their members. Two such organizations are Lawyers of Distinction and The American Institute of Trial Lawyers.

With the legal vanity field saturated with competition, Lawyers of Distinction was founded in 2014 with the aim of creating an organization which fairly and unbiasedly evaluates potential members using a series of objective criteria. Using U.S. Provisional Patent # 62/743,254, Lawyers of Distinction utilizes twelve different facts to evaluate prospective members. The standards used by Lawyers of Distinction to assess potential members includes: Honors/Awards, Reviews (Google and AVVO), Case Results, Educational Background, Published Verdicts/Settlements, Representative Clients, Special Certifications, Legal Experience, Pro Bono/Community Outreach, and Writings/Publications/Lectures. The Lawyers of Distinction website sees thousands of people visit daily and, unlike competitors, Lawyers of Distinction does not recommend specific attorneys to clients and is therefore not considered an attorney referral service.

When an attorney is accepted into the Lawyers of Distinction Organization they are provided a myriad of exclusive benefits including: Customized 14 inch x 11 inch rosewood plaque featuring the member’s name, calendar year, and area of practice; an SEO(search engine optimized) enhanced custom profile in the Lawyers of Distinction Member Directory(includes profile photo, biographical information, backlinks to an attorney’s social media and website, Google Map integration, and curated reviews from Google/AVVO/Yelp); Lawyers of Distinction logo and trademarked materials for marketing, a national press release announcing their membership for immediate publication; Membership Rosters published quarterly in print and online in such publications as USA Today, The American Lawyers, The National Law Journal, and The New York Times; Social Media announcements across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin; Brochures with business card inserts for the office; Access to the Members Only Private Facebook Group; Access to over $5000 in membership discounts with a variety of vendors such as Hilton, Marriott, Hertz, and more, and access to free; Unlimited CLE and Legal Research through a proprietary platform. Distinguished members receive an 11-inch Custom Crystal Statue in addition to the custom plaque.

Prospective members of Lawyers of Distinction can be nominated via their Steering Committee, third party nomination from a client or colleague, or they may apply directly for membership with the organization. Should an attorney be nominated by a third party, they are informed by Lawyers of Distinction who submitted their nomination.

The American Institute of Trial Lawyers, similarly to Lawyers of Distinction, is a legal vanity organization which was created in 2019 and whose goal is committed to only having the best attorneys in the United States as members. The American Institute of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only organization meaning members must be invited by the organization to apply for consideration. Already approved members may nominate other attorneys for consideration.

To evaluate prospective members, The American Institute of Trial Lawyers uses the following criteria such as: professionalism, ethical standing, notable verdicts, achievements, and settlements.

Once an attorney is accepted into the The American Institute of Trial Lawyers, the attorney receives the following benefits: a custom online profile, use of a branded, electronic badge, and a 9” x 12” plaque. Members are able to seek an upgrade to their membership which provides them with a custom acrylic desk plaque. Though they share many similar benefits, The American Institute of Trial Lawyers does not offer unlimited, free CLE and Legal Research, social media integration, or print marketing opportunities in national publications.

While Lawyers of Distinction and The American Institute of Trial Lawyers take differing approaches to the legal vanity market, they both offer their members a comprehensive level of exposure in a competitive legal environment.