Congratulations are in order. Brett Appelman has been named a Rising Star for 2015 by Super Lawyers Magazine!
You can check out a digital copy of the magazine by clicking here. Brett earned the Rising Stars award for the state of Illinois for his work in Criminal Defense and DUI Defense. Only 2.5 percent of lawyers in Illinois earn this award. Congratulations Brett!
Super Lawyers Selection Process
Super Lawyers doesn’t just nominate anybody for their awards. There’s a lengthy selection process that begins through colleague nomination. Once a year, lawyers in each state nominate top attorneys they’ve observed in action. Lawyers are allowed to nominate attorneys from their own firm, but Super Lawyers uses a point system that places significant value on out-firm nominations. Also, every in-firm nomination must be matched by an out-firm nomination, so an attorney’s work needs to be recognized by more than a few close colleagues.
The attorney nominations are just the first step in the process. Once an attorney has been nominated, the research staff at Super Lawyers goes to work. The staff looks at each attorney’s background, including:
- Any honors
- Any other related pursuits
Additionally, researchers look at what they call “the 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement,” which include: verdicts and settlements; transactions; representative clients; experience; honors and awards; special licenses and certifications; position within law firm; bar and or other professional activity; pro bono and community service as a lawyer; scholarly lectures and writings; education and employment background; and other outstanding achievements. Some of the indicators are weighted more heavily than others. Those attorneys who finish atop the standings at the end of the research are then selected to receive either the Super Lawyers or Rising Stars distinction.
To be eligible for the Rising Stars award, a candidate must be 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less. While up to five percent of the attorneys in a state are named a Super Lawyer, no more than 2.5 percent are named a Rising Star.
A Special Master assigned by the New Jersey Supreme Court to determine the legitimacy of the Super Lawyers selection process once wrote,
“[The Super Lawyersselection 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. Suffice to say, the selection procedures employed by [Super Lawyers] are very sophisticated, comprehensive and complex. It is absolutely clear from this record that [Super Lawyers does] not permit a lawyer to buy one’s way onto the list, nor is there any requirement for the purchase of any product for inclusion in the lists or any quid pro quo of any kind or nature associated with the evaluation and listing of an attorney or in the subsequent advertising of one’s inclusion in the lists.”
So once again, congratulations to Brett Appelman and the hardworking team at Appelman Law!