ASLA’s exclusive membership comprises less than 1.5% of all licensed lawyers nationwide. ASLA is both highly selective in extending invitations and in determining which specialties to include for a given state. Because many specialties typically include listings for Top 100 Lawyers and Top 40 Lawyers Under 40, in order to remain selective we ensure that each specialty in a state has a sufficient number of practicing lawyers to merit inclusion. Those states with relatively low populations of practicing lawyers often will support only one or two specialties. ASLA monitors practice trends from year to year prior to extending invitations in each state.
ASLA’s entire selection process is conducted manually by lawyers. Prospective members initially are evaluated based on publicly-available information, although member nominations also are accepted from current members, other lawyers, and past clients. Self-nominations and nominations from public relations firms or advertising agencies are not accepted.
The selection process consists of a rigorous, manual, multi-stage review:
ASLA’s lawyers comprehensively review available information for each candidate, including a review of firm websites, client assessments, and publicly-available filings, which may include: verdicts, settlement information, and information regarding transactions. Each candidate is assessed based on such criteria as educational accomplishments, involvement and leadership in bar associations and professional organizations, activities within their community, and demonstrated legal achievement. In the case of younger lawyers, ASLA also evaluates indications of developing success, both in a candidate’s day-to-day practice and in serving the profession.
Each area of assessment is considered, and each candidate is assessed on his or her own merits. Just as the student body of an elite university is comprised of individuals with many different backgrounds and strengths, ASLA likewise strives to invite a range of members who have stellar legal credentials as a baseline, but also a range of interests and activities.
After the initial list of nominees is prepared, at least one separate lawyer reviews all compiled data and confirms nominations. To ensure the integrity of the process, no lawyer who participated in the first phase of selection is permitted to conduct the second phase.
In the final stage, the list of finalists is again reviewed and candidates either are confirmed for invitation or placed on a holding list for reconsideration the following year.
The participation of invited candidates is completely voluntary, and only those individuals who accept membership are included on our site, which leads to less than the number of invited candidates appearing within a category. Those who choose to participate receive all benefits of membership, however we recognize that some lawyers may choose not to participate and may network and market themselves through other efforts. With regards to all marketing efforts, all lawyers must ensure continued compliance with their respective state bars. Any member of ASLA who becomes subject to a disciplinary proceeding is expected to report this information immediately to ASLA, and any member who is disciplined will have his or her membership revoked.