November 4, 2011 by wilsonneelynyc
Each year, Super Lawyers magazine releases a list of the top legal professionals across the country from more than 70 discrete practice areas. Bar Associations and courts from coast to coast consistently recognize the Super Lawyers rankings as some of the most prestigious in the nation. The magazine utilizes a multiphase rating process along with peer nominations, evaluations, and third-party research to identify industry-leading attorneys. Creating the candidate pool is the first step in the selection process. Lawyers gain a place in the candidate pool by being informally nominated by a peer, or identified during the “Star Search” process by the Super Lawyers research team. Every nomination carries a point value, with in-firm nominations having less clout than out-firm. Once the candidate pool is established, each lawyer is evaluated on 12 indicators that gauge professional achievement and peer recognition, including honors and awards, professional activity, transactions, pro bono work, scholarly activities, and more. Some of these indicators will carry more value than others.
After evaluators pare down the candidate pool, Super Lawyers groups the remaining attorneys based on their specific practice area. The candidates from each category who received the highest point total in section two are be asked to serve on a blue ribbon review panel, which reviews every candidate from their specific practice area and assigns a rating from 1 to 10. In the final stage of the selection process, candidates are separated based on their firm’s size, with the candidates boasting the highest point totals from each category earning the distinction of Super Lawyer. Before the honors are announced, each candidate undergoes a final vetting process to ensure there are not any discrepancies in the application or unreported disciplinary or criminal proceedings. The magazine recognizes a maximum of five percent of the lawyers in each state.
About the Author: Possessing nearly three decades of legal experience, Wilson Neely earned selection as a Super Lawyer in 2011. Neely has spent his entire career with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City, where he currently serves as a Partner and outside counsel to the private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and The Blackstone Group. An alumnus of The University of Texas School of Law, Wilson Neely graduated with honors. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, where he was a Rufus Choate.