Finding a lawyer: two reference lists

As I’ve mentioned, I hook into daily abstracts from the New York Law Journal. “Abstract” means I only get to see the curtailed essence of a story, or of a case. (To get the entire thing, I’d have to subscribe to the NYLJ, a very very expensive proposition. Indeed, although all New York law firms do subscribe, a lot of them only carry one subscription and everyone shares it.)

Today, though, the NYLJ made a valuable reference available to me, ergo, to you. It’s a booklet entitled “Lawyers Who Lead by Example.” (Lawyers Who Lead by Example.)  In a way, it’s similar to the Super Lawyer booklet published by legal publisher Thomson Reuters, given that it’s a select list of lawyers. (Super Lawyer offers editions covering other areas of the country.)

The Super Lawyer publication organizes into legal specialty categories many, many lawyers and law firms whom, they claim, are the “best.” Each year I read through this booklet, concentrating on areas of law with which I have some familiarity (I don’t bother with Aviation and Aerospace, but you probably figured that out), and am annually bewildered that certain lawyers I do know are not, in my estimation, anywhere near “the best.” A lot of them seem to hold tenure on the list.

Although Thomson Reuters does offer a “how we compiled this list” explanation (on page 29, “selection process”), I remain bewildered. Nevertheless, it is one way of looking for a lawyer who’s been chosen as one of the best by some organization. And some of them are, in my merely semi-professional view, the best.

But the NYLJ’s “Lawyers Who Lead by Example” list is a much stronger way of looking for a lawyer, since each lawyer is given a brief biography and an accolade for the work he/she does. And a lot of these lawyers work pro bono, that is, for people who need lawyers but can’t afford them.

So if  you can’t afford a lawyer but need legal advice, read through “Lawyers Who Lead by Example.” (You’ll have to expand the pages; there’s a magnifying glass icon for that in the bottom left of your screen.) The several lawyers on this list whom I’ve heard of have wonderful reputations.

The Thomson Reuters Best Lawyers list is a good reference, but be prepared to write out a brief summary of your case before you start calling, so you don’t phumph around verbally. Lawyers (and their staffs) can be impatient creatures.

And brace yourself for a lot of rejection: some law firms/lawyers won’t even respond to your inquiry.


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