Are You Talking About Super Lawyers Correctly?

Whether you have been selected to a Super Lawyers or Rising Stars list, or have peers or attorneys at your firm who have been, it's a distinct honor to recognize. Being selected is no small feat with only five percent of attorneys selected to the Super Lawyers list and two and a half percent selected to the Rising Stars list in each state.

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Selected attorneys have done the hard work to be recognized, now it's time to spread the news and create brand awareness for your firm. Before you start posting to Facebook or crafting that press release we want to review how to talk about Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers® is a registered trademark and we stress the importance of proper usage of the terms Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. A lawyer on our list is not a "Super Lawyer," or, for that matter, a "Rising Star." Rather, "he or she has been selected to the 2016 Minnesota Super Lawyers list or 2016 Minnesota Rising Stars list." When used properly, the term is not descriptive or comparative. Instead, it's a fact-based statement, and as such, is protected speech.

Let's review some of the basics:

OKAY TO SAY
She was included on this year's Florida Super Lawyers list.
NOT OKAY TO SAY
She's a Super Lawyer in Florida.

OKAY TO SAY
Super Lawyers recognized three people from this firm.
NOT OKAY TO SAY
This firm has a lot of Super Lawyers.

OKAY TO SAY
Sally was selected for inclusion to the 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers list. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state were selected.
NOT OKAY TO SAY
Sally was recognized by Super Lawyers which means she is in the top five percent of lawyers in the state.

Some other things to remember:

  • Super Lawyers never refers to an individual attorney or group of attorneys.
  • Super Lawyers is always plural.
  • Use italics when referencing the magazine (e.g. Minnesota Super Lawyers Magazine). Do not use italics when referencing the brand or list.
  • Use the registered trademark symbol after Super Lawyers (®) the first time you mention the term in print or online (note: as a registered trademark, it cannot be used in the possessive form).
  • List the year and jurisdiction when applicable, e.g. 2016 Texas Super Lawyers.
  • The Super Lawyers list recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in each state. Super Lawyers doesn't claim to have named the top five percent nationally.
  • Never imply or state that Super Lawyers has accreditation.

So now that you've learned a bit about how to talk about Super Lawyers, you can effectively share the news with friends, colleagues and law school contacts and recognize selectees that you know. For more information check out this PDF that provides a detailed overview.