The Super Lawyers Rising Star Selection Process

A partner at Reed Smith, Brad Rostolsky leads the law firm’s HIPAA and health privacy and security practice. A resident of Ambler, Pennsylvania, Brad Rostolsky was recognized by Super Lawyers in 2011, 2013, and 2015 as a Super Lawyers Rising Star.

The Super Lawyers selection process is notoriously rigorous; less than five percent of lawyers in a state make the cut, with 2.5 percent making it to the rising stars list. Below is the entire selection process:


Lawyers are invited, once a year, to nominate their top peers. Lawyers can only nominate attorneys from their own state. Every nomination carries a point value, and nominations from colleagues in the same firm value carry fewer points than nominations from lawyers in a different firm. Candidates may also enter the selection process after being recognized by Super Lawyers’ internal research team for their exemplary work or credentials.

Independent evaluation

Next, Super Lawyers’ research department evaluates candidates based on 12 indicators of professional achievement and peer recognition. They include: transactions, verdicts /settlements, experience, awards, representative clients, position in the law firm, professional activity, scholarly lectures/writings, special licenses or certifications, and community service.

Peer evaluation

The candidates from each practice area with the highest scores in the above two steps are evaluated by their own peers with equally high points and given a rating from one to five.

Final selection

Candidates are put into four categories according to the size of their firms, and those with the most points in each category are selected and published. Before publication, however, background checks are performed to ensure the nominees are licensed and have no ongoing disciplinary or legal issues.

Candidates who fall out of the selection process and are below age 40 or have been in practice for less than 10 years go through the Rising Star selection process, which follows the same steps listed above.