We are proud to announce that U.S. News & World Report has once again honored Michaels & Smolak with its “first tier” ranking in its “Best Lawyers in America” listings for personal injury litigation firms in the Syracuse, New York metropolitan area. In the 2019 edition, just as past editions, the firm was ranked “first-tier” in the categories of both “personal injury” and “product liability”.
These days, personal injury trial lawyers like us are bombarded with letters and “announcements” notifying us that we have been selected as part of an “elite group” of trial lawyers. These letters go on to tout the very “stringent requirements” that attorneys must meet in order to qualify for the elite listing. Only a very small percentage of lawyers, the letters say, have been selected. And guess what? YOU have been selected!
There’s only one hitch: You have to pay for it. These type of “award” or “honor” letters almost always end with a sentence like this: “to have your name registered as a member of this select group of top attorneys, simply make payment of (a few hundred dollars) to ____”.
There is even one such select club called “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”. The name seems to suggest that, if you are getting an invitation to join this group, you must be one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the country. The only problem is that, since all four lawyers at our firm receive the same letter every year, that leaves only 96 other lawyers in the whole country who must be getting the same letter, right? Yeah, right.
Yes, that’s right, you have to PAY to accept your nomination. In other words, it’s a scam.
Not so with the Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms listing by U.S. News & World Report. This lawyer-rating service doesn’t ask us to pay anything, and we don’t. They just send us a notification informing us that we have made the cut.
According to U.S. News & World Report, its rankings are based entirely on law firm surveys distributed to other lawyers and clients, addressing the firm’s expertise, responsiveness, and whether they would refer other clients to the firm. Data is also collected from “ballots” completed by other attorneys who are already selected as Best Lawyers. All the data is then combined into an overall “Best Law Firms” score for each firm. The “first-tier” ranking means that the firm’s scores were among the very highest for that category of law practice.
We would like to express our deep appreciation to our staff, referring attorneys, and clients without whose help and appreciation we could never have achieved this tremendous honor.