Rising Stars and Super Lawyers

Attorney Leslie Sammis, a criminal defense attorney in Tampa, FL, was selected for the Rising Stars list and rated by Super Lawyers in 2012 and 2013. She was selected to the Super Lawyers list in 2019 – 2022.

Although Ms. Sammis received these designations over the years, she does NOT advertise on Super Lawyers. This article explains why.

The process for being selected to “Rising Stars” is similar to being selected to “Super Lawyers,” except the attorney must be younger than 40 years old or in practice for less than ten years.

According to the Super Lawyers website, only 2.5% of lawyers are selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars list each year in each state. However, a different 2.5% of attorneys can be selected each year.

After you are selected, your profile will remain in the directory even if you are not selected for any year after that. Likewise, the attorneys selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers represent no more than 5% of the lawyers in that state, but the 5% selected can be different each year.

After being selected for inclusion (regardless of the year of selection), an attorney can advertise on the Super Lawyers online directory.

If you do not pay Super Lawyers for an enhanced listing, your picture, contact information, phone number, biography, or a link to your website are not listed in the Super Lawyers directory. Moreover, they add a list of other attorneys with the same practice area and from the same city (“your competitors”) to your profile if you don’t pay for advertising.

Does Being a Rising Star on Super Lawyers mean anything?

Does being named a rising star on Super Lawyers mean anything? Is Super Lawyers or Rising Stars legit? The short answer is:

“No, not really since so many attorneys are named each year.”

Super Lawyers was created to sell ad space. Although the site is not necessarily a racket or scam, the lawyers on Super Lawyers aren’t necessarily “super.”

There is no reason to think an attorney on the Super Lawyers list is better than other attorneys, although it might indicate they pay more for advertising.

How are Attorneys Selected for the Rising Stars List?

Attorneys are selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars and Super Lawyer List annually. How are the attorneys listed as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars selected?

According to Super Lawyers, the selection process uses several different phases, including:

  • creation of the candidate pool;
  • peer nominations and evaluations by practice area;
  • evaluation of the candidates by third-party research; and
  • professional achievement.

The criteria for choosing lawyers for the Rising Star or SuperLawyers list are vague. As a result, any value to the designation is equally vague. Selection for inclusion in Super Lawyers is limited to attorneys who can be retained by the public, including attorneys in private practice.

According to Super Lawyers, in 2013, the website received 6.4 million visits. Attorneys must pay for an expanded listing to include a link to their website, a picture, a biography, or a phone number on their profile.

This year, the key dates for SuperLawyers are:

  • September 21, 2022 – October 19, 2023, for the Nomination Period; and
  • April 6, 2023, for Data Verification. 

Offers to Promote Your Selection to the Super Lawyers List

We receive dozens of emails from the Sr. Associate Publisher at Super Lawyers each year. The emails ask us to pay money to “promote” being selected to the Super Lawyers list when the Florida Super Lawyers magazine or the Tampa Bay magazine is published.

One email we received provided the following:

*Remember- if not doing a print item or ad your phone number and contact info is NOT included in your basic print listing going out to almost 415,000 potential clients.

SuperLawyers says print publications drive traffic online 4x more during this period. The emails also promise exclusive marketing solutions designed for top exposure and visibility online 24/7, including:

Premium Online Profile – Upgrade to our top-of-the line online profile. The Premium online profile has prominent placement in the Superlawyers.com directory, great visibility in major search engines and prominent contact buttons for lead generation.

With over 80% mobile searches now days, this is the online profile to have. $156.60/mo Retails $174.00/mo

When you get a Premium Online profile you are qualified to get a TopSpot/Spotlight on our prestigious Superlawyers.com directory.

Take advantage of over 17 million page views on the directory with the top placement that targets clients by practice area and geography. Pricing varies discounts apply, contact me.

ASK Super Lawyers Answer Page-Showcase your expertise and be known as a thought leader with an ASK Super Lawyers Answer page. A favorite of mine! This advertorial spin uses professionally written content (by our writers) to direct consumers with a specific legal issue to your personal Answer page.

In addition, your ASK page is found on your Premium online profile, on superlawyers.com, and within the search engines. $180/mo per question (Retails $200/mo)

Premium Online FIRM Profile – The Premium Firm Online profile pulls together all of the attorneys selected to Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in your firm in one platform. It provides instant online visibility showcasing your firm as a whole.

This is found on the attorneys’ online profile within the superlawyers.com directory and found within the search engines. Instant 3rd party validation!

Select from two designs and receive a professionally written firm overview and customized URL. $360/mo (Retails $400/mo.)

Recognition Items – Promote your selection in the office or home with the Recognition Plaque or other custom items from our selection and Anniversary collections. Pricing varies per item.”

The Costs for Super Lawyers Advertising in 2023

Last year, we received an email from the Sr. Marketing Consultant, Super Lawyers, with a discount codes for 10% off or 15% off. The email tells us that at one time, the listing had 608 views on the profile, but now the “complimentary online profile” only has 20 views.

Since we don’t pay for advertising, the profile has no photo, bio, or phone number. Plus, Super Lawyers lists “competitors” on the page, so they recommend upgrading ASAP so the visitors can be converted into clients and not lost leads.

It looks like the discount for the premium profile dropped by $175 to 147.90 a month. The offered to send us a 12-month DocuSign contract if we wanted to sign up.

Superlawyers.com claims that the digital profile is an asset to building a personal and professional brand. It claims that Superlawyers.com dominates search results, so an updated online profile is a great way to leverage the selection, maximize our online visibility, and reach unlimited potential clients and referrals 24 hours a day/365 days a year.

This email included this picture with a big red arrow to my “competitors” listed at the bottom of the page:

In 2023, we received an email entitled “Maximize your online visibility with Super Lawyers!” The email explained:

Currently you appear in our online directory, with a Basic profile with no bio or picture and no way to contact you. Here’s your current page, which was viewed over 55 times the past 12 months. With no contact info how many leads are you missing?

It is perfect timing to increase your web presence and portfolio, generate referrals and new business by upgrading to the Premium online profile and 24/7 visibility from anywhere in the world! PLUS, get an even better discount when adding in TOP SPOTS or SPOTLIGHTS!

Save up to 25% off! (Multi-year available) 3 DAY SALE ends January 31st 1:00pm EST. Click here to set up a quick call or contact me to discuss increasing your online presence. We can get your online profile up right away and start driving visibility to you immediately.

Redesign of Super Lawyer Website

On September 21, 2021, we got an email that SuperLawyers.com was excited to announce it was undergoing a redesign. According to the email, the first phase of the redesign included an updated homepage and went live on August 21st.

The additional changes for 2022 include the following:

  • “Easier navigation for attorneys and those in need of legal help, with best-in-class search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for optimal site performance.
  • A more prominent explanation of the Super Lawyers process to convey the honor of being selected.
  • Larger profile images and a better mobile experience on the attorney listings, making it even easier for someone looking for an attorney, to reach you.
  • A new organization of legal resource content, which makes it easier to find help and find you.

The email also invited us to learn more about premium-level opportunities on the newly redesigned website.

The email from The Super Lawyers Team also thanked us for being “part of the Super Lawyers community.”

This article was last updated on Thursday, February 1, 2024.