A Closer Look at Super Lawyers’ Four-Step Selection Process

Sylvia Scott serves as attorney and partner at Freeman, Freeman & Smiley, LLP in Los Angeles, California, where she focuses on aspects of securities regulation and litigation. Over the course of her career, Sylvia Scott has successfully represented numerous brokers and investment advisors, and in 2016 she received ranking among the Southern California Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers uses a four-part selection process to identify ranking lawyers, each of which is highlighted below.

1. Nominations — Super Lawyers prohibits attorneys from self-nominating or campaigning for themselves, and only accepts nominations from third-party sources and peer reviews. Eligible lawyers may also enter the candidate pool through managing partner surveys and identification by the Super Lawyers research team. The research process involves searching for lawyers who attained honors or credentials that indicate a high degree of peer recognition or professional competence.

2. Independent Research — After creating its candidate pool, the Super Lawyers research team conducts in-depth evaluations of each candidate and rates them according to 12 criteria of varying importance. Criteria includes indicators of professional achievement and peer recognition, such as their professional activity, position within their firm, and their involvement with community service and pro bono work.

3. Peer Evaluation — The candidates with the highest point potentials in the first two phases move on to the Peer Evaluation phase, otherwise known as the Blue Ribbon Review. This phase asks candidates to complete peer reviews and evaluations of other candidates in their practice area. Candidates are sorted into panels according to practice area and rank peers on a given list using a one-to-five rating scale.

4. Final Selection. During the Final Selection phase, Super Lawyers sort candidates into four firm-size categories and those with the highest point totals from each category receive listing among the published ranking. Attorneys listed by Super Lawyers make up approximately 5 percent of the lawyer population in each state and 2.5 percent of selected lawyers receive a Rising Stars commendation.