*Please click on the tabs below to view either The American Lawyer or Corporate Counsel categories and guidelines.

The American Lawyer Industry Categories Guidelines

These descriptions are meant as a guide -- additional questions or essays may be required for a category. For all categories, please log into the Awardsforce portal to view all questions and requirements.

Who Should Apply
Nominees can come from all corners of the legal profession, whether it be a law firm, in-house legal department, government, public interest, education, alternative legal service providers, etc. They should be nearing the end of their career.

Award Description
The distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award will honor those professionals who have left an indelible mark on the legal profession through their substantive area of work as well as a strong public service component, whether that be through government work, diversity and inclusion efforts or some other form of public service. This is an elite award and the bar is set high. We will honor no more than seven individuals. The honorees will be profiled in The American Lawyer.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
No more than one page or describing why this individual deserves this highly selective honor. Describe their work and public service and how it has left a mark on the profession. A Word or PDF document is accepted. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
A current or former law firm managing partner, chair or other firmwide leader nearing the end of their career.

Award Description
This award is given to someone who has transformed their firm and whose leadership will leave its mark well beyond their tenure. The honoree will be profiled in The American Lawyer.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
No more than one page describing how the individual has changed and improved their firm in a meaningful way. A Word or PDF document is accepted. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any Am Law 200/Global 100 firm

Award Description
This prestigious award goes to a law firm that has had an exceptional year across its service offerings, netting big wins but also showing a commitment to and progress in an area not solely related to their practice, such as pro bono, diversity or innovation in how legal services are delivered. This award covers the time frame from January 2020 through the date of submission. The winning firm will be profiled in The American Lawyer.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A document briefly describing why the firm had such a successful year (no more than 500 words for the essay portion). Also include up to 3-6 examples of client matters (across any practice area) that demonstrate the firm’s prowess in its service offerings and ability to handle its clients’ most serious issues. Explain why the matters were so impactful. Additionally, include evidence of how the firm made strides in an area not related to their practice (see award description above). Any data to support the submission criteria is encouraged. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any attorney from any part of the legal industry, whether it be law firm, in-house legal department, public interest, government, education or elsewhere, that has made a profound impact in the profession or community. Tenure in the profession is irrelevant to this award.

Award Description
This award goes beyond success in their practice, but rather honors a lawyer who has perhaps changed an area of law, reshaped their institution or an industry, accomplished something of great public service or otherwise made a lasting impact within the time frame for this award, which is January 2020 through the submission deadline. The honorees will be profiled in The American Lawyer.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
Please submit no more than one page describing why this individual is deserving of the esteemed honor, giving detailed explanations of how they had such a significant impact in the last year. A Word or PDF document is acceptable. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any Am Law 200/Global 100 law firm

Award Description
This award is given to a law firm that has made significant strides in the last two years to innovate how it delivers legal services. This could be through an impactful individual program run through a certain practice area or firmwide, to a full revamping of the firm’s processes. This award will honor a law firm that has changed the way it does business to better deliver value to the client.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than two pages) of how the firm demonstrated true innovation to its legal services delivery model. Supporting documents are allowed. Any data to show the impact of the innovation is encouraged. Client testimonials are also welcome. A Word or PDF document is accepted. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any Am Law 200/Global 100 law firm

Award Description
This award, which is different from our Legal Services Innovation award, is focused on the implementation of technology within a law firm to either improve the delivery of legal services, improve efficiency in internal or client-facing operations, improve work-life balance, etc. The technology can be public facing or only used within the law firm.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than two pages) of how technology was implemented in the last two years (since early 2019) to improve life at the firm or for clients, with any data to support the technology’s impact and efficacy. Internal or external testimonials are welcome. Also explain whether this technology was developed internally or externally. Supporting documentation is accepted. A Word or PDF document is accepted. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any Am Law 200/Global 100 firm or legal department (likely in conjunction).

Award Description
This award honors a relationship and arrangement between a law firm and client that exemplifies a true partnership that drives value for both sides. Examples may be related to fee arrangements, secondments, training, or the many other ways the pair may have creatively structured their working arrangement.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A brief (no more than two pages) description of why the arrangement is unique and beneficial. Please give details of how long the parties have worked together, on what types of matters and how that relationship is structured. Give examples of the ways the parties work together, how they help one another and why each finds the relationship unique and beneficial. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any combination of providers who worked on behalf of the same client on the same matter(s). This could be multiple law firms, law firms and law companies, etc.

Award Description
This award honors the type of collaboration clients are seeking to most effectively and efficiently handle their matter(s). The winning entry will showcase how the providers came to work together on a matter and how they best brought forward their particular capabilities to jointly solve the client’s problem.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A brief (no more than two pages) description of why the arrangement is unique and beneficial. Please explain the role each provider played, how they came to work together on this matter(s), examples of how the varying skill sets or business models aided the client, whether the team had worked together before, why the arrangement was an added benefit to the client, etc. Client testimonials are welcome. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Am Law 200/Global 100 Firms Only

Award Description
The role of the business professional within a law firm is growing in number and importance. This award honors those teams that have been allowed to, and have had, an identifiable impact on their organization, from how it is run to the client work they have brought in and anything in between. It covers their work from January 2019 through the present.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than two pages) of who is part of the business team, how they are empowered to make an impact on their organization and how they have done so. Any data to support their efforts is encouraged. Client testimonials or other supporting documents are also welcome. A Word or PDF document is accepted. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any lawyer or staff professional within an Am Law 200/Global 100 firm.

Award Description
This award will honor someone who has dedicated a significant portion of their time and energy to mentoring younger professionals. This could be demonstrated through the lawyer or professional’s deep commitment to an individual or through mentoring a litany of younger professionals over their career.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than two pages) of how the lawyer has shown his or her dedication to mentoring. This award has no time parameters for when the mentoring was done. Please include specific examples of mentoring and anything that shows its impact. Testimonials from mentees are welcome. A Word or PDF document is accepted. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any lawyer or staff professional working in an in-house legal department.

Award Description
This award will honor someone who has dedicated a significant portion of their time and energy to mentoring younger professionals. This could be demonstrated through the lawyer or professional’s deep commitment to an individual or through mentoring a litany of younger professionals over their career.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than two pages) of how the lawyer has shown his or her dedication to mentoring. This award has no time parameters for when the mentoring was done. Please include specific examples of mentoring and anything that shows its impact. Testimonials from mentees are welcome. A Word or PDF document is accepted. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any lawyer under 40 at a law firm, client or law company.

Award Description
This award honors a young lawyer who has made an impact on their organization, the profession, clients or beyond through their work, service to the law firm, service to the industry or service to the community. The honoree will be profiled in The American Lawyer.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A 500-word essay on how this young lawyer has made an impact above and beyond their normal day-to-day work. This award could highlight ways the lawyer helped improve firm/company life, improve the profession as a whole, had impact for a client beyond a specific matter, or somehow went above and beyond the call of duty. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Any litigator

Award Description
This award honors a litigator who had an exceptional run of results for their client over the contest period. The honorees will be profiled in The American Lawyer.

Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
A 500-word essay as to why this litigator deserves special recognition for their work during the contest period (Jan. 1, 2020 through submission period). Highlight big matters that had a major impact for client or industry. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

Who Should Apply
Firms

Award Description
This award honors firmwide efforts to improve diversity across a number of possible areas. Submissions could tackle topics such as efforts to improve diversity retention and inclusion within a firm, social justice work, or work as part of a broader industry initiative. We encourage submissions to show data-based evidence or targets and explain how improvement was made and the impact it had.

Requirements
Write an essay of no more than 500 words explaining the efforts. Supporting materials are allowed. Data is encouraged where applicable. Please log into the awards portal to view all questions.

The American Lawyer’s 2021 Litigation Department of the Year Contests

Am Law 200/Global 100 law firms can apply for our regional Litigation Department of the Year Awards for work performed by lawyers in the following jurisdictions: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut. These awards recognize the best litigation department in each jurisdiction, but the work can be done outside the jurisdiction as long as lawyers from the jurisdiction were substantially involved. Their roles should be explained in the submission.

There is one survey for all 7 regions. Please submit a separate survey for each region your firm enters.

Submission Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
  • Write an essay of no more than 500 words explaining why your firm should be a finalist.
  • Select up to 7 litigation results that demonstrate the excellence of your litigation department in that jurisdiction. Submissions must include one pro bono matter as part of the total 7 matters. Please limit the narrative description of each result to 400 words. Please be clear how this matter was significant to your client. Winning entries will demonstrate not necessarily a high dollar-figure (though they may), but work on high-stakes matters, the setting of important precedent and/or unique/exceptional lawyering.
  • Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working at other firms.
  • These results must have occurred from August 1, 2019, through the contest submission period.
  • Please include full case names and docket numbers for all cases mentioned. Also include opposing counsel as well as the names of the lawyers in your firm who led the matters.
  • Please include 3 new matters to be handled by lawyers in the relevant jurisdiction. They should be matters taken on after Nov. 1, 2020. Just name the client, issue at stake and firm’s expected role.
  • Please name the biggest litigation loss for the group since August 1, 2019.
  • Firm information: please include the size of the firm’s litigation department in the relevant jurisdiction as of April 1, 2021, specifying the number of partners, associates and other counsel. Please include the percentage of your entire firm represented by the litigation department in the relevant jurisdiction. Please include the percentage of overall firm revenue generated by the litigation group in the relevant jurisdiction.
  • Please list two client references and their contact information.
This award is for national boutique/specialty firms focused on litigation, including IP litigation. This award recognizes the best boutique firm litigation department for work handled from August 1, 2019 through the contest submission period of June 1, 2021.

Submission Deadline
June 1, 2021

Materials Required
  • Write an essay of no more than 500 words explaining why your firm should be a finalist.
  • Select up to 7 litigation results that demonstrate the excellence of your litigation department. Please limit the narrative description of each result to 400 words. Please be clear how this matter was significant to your client. Winning entries will demonstrate not necessarily a high dollar-figure (though they may), but work on high-stakes matters, the setting of important precedent and/or unique/exceptional lawyering.
  • Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working at other firms.
  • These results must have occurred from August 1, 2019, through the contest submission period.
  • Please include full case names and docket numbers for all cases mentioned. Also include opposing counsel as well as the names of the lawyers in your firm who led the matters.
  • Please include 3 new matters to be handled by your firm. They should be matters taken on after Nov. 1, 2020. Just name the client, issue at stake and firm’s expected role.
  • Please name the biggest litigation loss for the firm since August 1, 2019.
  • Firm information: please include the size of the firm’s litigation department as of April 1, 2021, specifying the number of partners, associates and other counsel. Please include the percentage of your entire firm represented by the litigation department. Please include the percentage of overall firm revenue generated by the litigation group.
  • Please list two client references and their contact information.
Please note that you will improve your chances of reaching the finals if you give us specific and verifiable information—including client names and dollar amounts. If a portion of your submission needs to be marked confidential to best demonstrate the firm’s work, that is fine, as long as it is clearly marked. Entries that are largely confidential, however, and make it difficult to write about will face hurdles in reaching a finalist spot. Cases that are marked completely confidential will not be considered. If your client was represented by more than one firm, please identify the other firms and specify your firm’s role. Do not send marketing materials.

Note: A litigation “result” can include any positive achievement, at any stage of a dispute, and in any forum. It can include pretrial events (such as the denial of class certification), and does not have to represent the conclusion of a case. You may submit matters from foreign courts or tribunals. You may submit the results of regulatory investigations.

You may copy/paste your answers below or upload documents answering the questions.

Submissions must be uploaded via this portal. Please do not send files via email or any other method.

Submissions are due by July 1, 2021.

Litigation Departments of the Year - General (National)

Firm Information
  • Firm Name
  • Firm Contact Name
  • Firm Contact Phone
  • Firm Contact Email
  • Number of Partners in your firm’s litigation department as of June 30, 2021
  • Number of associates in your firm’s litigation department as of June 30, 2021
  • Number of other attorneys in your firm’s litigation department as of June 30, 2021
  • The percentage of your entire firm represented by the litigation department in terms of number of lawyers
  • Litigation department revenue as a percentage of total firm revenue in 2020

Litigation Results
  • Please include a table of contents for your entry listing all of the items in your submission.
  • Submissions must include one pro bono matter as part of the total 10 matters.
  • Please limit the narrative description of each result to 400
  • Please be clear how this matter was significant to your client. Winning entries will demonstrate not necessarily a high dollar-figure (though they may), but work on high-stakes matters, the setting of important precedent and/or unique/exceptional lawyering.
  • Each of the 10 results must have been achieved by lawyers when they were members of your firm. Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working at other firms.
  • These results must have occurred from August 1, 2019, to July 1, 2021.
  • Please include names and contact information for clients, lead partners, lead co-counsel and lead opposing counsel.
  • Please also include dollar amounts where relevant.
  • Please include full case names and docket numbers for all cases mentioned.
  • You may copy/paste the info below or upload a Word document or PDF.

Essay Submission
Write an essay of no more than 500 words explaining why your firm should be a finalist.

Client References
List four client references and their contact information

Biggest Loss
Describe the firm’s biggest litigation loss since August 1, 2019, including opposing counsel. Please limit this section to 600 words.

New Matters
  • List three noteworthy new matters (not including the 10 mentioned above). These should be matters taken on after January 1, 2021. Please keep descriptions of these matters to one paragraph, simply highlighting the client, issue at stake and firm’s expected role.
  • Please limit this section to 500 words.
Each firm participating in the general competition may also compete in one of the following four practice areas: intellectual property, products liability, labor and employment, and insurance.

Please note that you will improve your chances of reaching the finals if you give us specific and verifiable information—including client names and dollar amounts. Cases that are marked completely confidential will not be considered. If your client was represented by more than one firm, please identify the other firms and specify your firm’s role. Do not send general marketing materials.

Note: A litigation “result” can include any positive achievement, at any stage of a dispute, and in any forum. It can include pretrial events (such as the denial of class certification), and does not have to represent the conclusion of a case. You may submit matters from foreign courts or tribunals. You may submit the results of regulatory investigations.

TO SUBMIT: Please send an electronic copy of your firm’s submission uploaded to our secure site below.

Submissions are due by July 1, 2021.

Submissions must be sent via this portal. Please do not send submissions via email or any other way.

Practice Area Information
  • Firm Name
  • Firm Contact Name
  • Firm Contact Phone
  • Firm Contact Email
  • Number of Partners in this practice area as of June 30, 2021
  • Number of associates in this practice area as of June 30, 2021
  • Number of other attorneys in this practice area as of June 30, 2021
  • The percentage of your entire firm represented by the number of lawyers in this practice area.
  • Practice area revenue as a percentage of total firm revenue in 2020.
     
Litigation Results
Describe 8 litigation results that demonstrate the excellence of your litigation department in this specialty.
 
  • Please include a table of contents for your entry listing all of the items in your submission.
  • Each of the litigation results must have been achieved by lawyers when they were members of your firm.
  • Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working at other firms.
  • These results must have occurred from August 1, 2019, to July 1, 2021.
  • Please limit the narrative description of each result to 400 Winning entries will demonstrate not necessarily a high dollar-figure (though they may), but work on high-stakes matters, the setting of important precedent and/or unique/exceptional lawyering.
  • Please include names and contact information for clients, lead partners, lead co-counsel and lead opposing counsel.
  • Please also include dollar amounts where relevant.
  • Please include full case names and docket numbers for all cases mentioned.
  • Please include the name of a point person whom we may contact to follow up with any questions about the submission or to alert the firm that it is a finalist.
  • You may copy/paste the info below or upload a Word document or PDF.

Essay Submission
Write an essay of no more than 500 words explaining why your firm should be a finalist in this practice area.

Client References
List three client references for matters in this practice area and their contact information.

Biggest Loss
  • Describe the firm’s biggest litigation loss in this practice area since August 1, 2019, including opposing counsel.
  • Please limit this section to 600 words.

New Matters
  • List up to three noteworthy new matters in this practice area (not including the 8 mentioned above). These should be matters taken on after January 1, 2021.
  • Please limit this section to 500 words.

Corporate Counsel Categories Guidelines

It is that time of year again! We are excited to again begin the process to honor in-house legal departments and legal department leaders in our Best Legal Departments issue.

In order to be considered, you have to first complete this survey. It consists of several questions about your company and its law department and a brief (no more than 1,000 words) essay about why you should be considered.

The deadline for submissions is April 6, 2021.

Our staff will select the honorees on the basis of these submissions, along with our own research.

Articles featuring the honorees will be featured in our September/October 2021 issue and celebrated at the prestigious American Lawyer Industry Awards at the end of the year.

Below please find the categories and submission requirements. Please feel free to reach out to Pearl Wu at pwu@alm.com with any questions. ALM reserves the right to consider and award organizations, regardless of whether they have submitted nominations. We also reserve the right to take notice of external information that would impact the submission. For all categories, please include the appropriate contact information in case we require more information. An organization can only submit up to two entries per category. Good luck!


Best Legal Departments

There is one survey for all subcategories. You only need to fill out the survey for the category or categories in which you are submitting a nomination.

Subcategories

Who Should Apply
Legal department leader/GC, in-house attorney or in-house staff member.

Award Description
This prestigious award goes to the legal department that surmounted extreme challenges the past year, was innovative in its thinking and achieved measurable successes in 2020.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000 words) of your most significant activities in the last year, including litigation achievements (you can include arbitrations and settlements) and any strategies that you put into play to achieve measurable success. Items can include but are not limited to:

  • Describe any unique strategies for multiple litigation matters, such as suits involving the same product.
  • Describe any out-of-the-ordinary nonlitigation matters in the last year, such as working on a major M&A transaction or responding to a government investigation.
  • Describe any unique strategies for routine nonlitigation matters, such as patent applications or employment contracts.
  • In describing all matters, please provide specific details about what your in-house lawyers did in each case. Please limit yourself to accomplishments that occurred during the past year (though you can describe work done in prior years that contributed to the accomplishment).


Finalists Announced
September

Winner Announced
At the American Lawyer Industry Awards in December 2021

Who Should Apply
Legal department leader/GC, in-house attorney or in-house staff member.

Award Description
An award recognizing an in-house team that has developed or implemented creative innovative compliance plans to achieve success.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000 words) describing:

  • Any innovative compliance programs that your legal department put into place in the last year.
  • How have you creatively communicated compliance information to all employees to ensure that they understand and adhere to company policy?
  • How have you used technology to help manage your compliance program?
  • Please include any key performance indicators used by their program.


Winner Announced
September

Who Should Apply
General Counsel of a startup company

Award Description
An award recognizing the challenges a startup GC has and acknowledges the achievement of successfully overcoming those obstacles by innovation and determination.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000 words) of how a startup solo from scratch achieved success and growth by innovation and determination.

Winner Announced
September

Who Should Apply
General Counsel or in-house counsel team

Award Description
This award recognizes the legal department that showed innovative uses of technology to solve issues and enhance productivity.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
Please submit a short essay (no more than 1,000) describing:

  • Any innovative uses of technology that your legal department put into place in during the last year. We’re specifically interested in how people use technology, and how it’s made work in the department easier and more efficient.
  • A problem you used technology to solve. Give specifics.


Winner Announced
September

Who Should Apply
General Counsel

Award Description
This award is focused on the significant positive impact a GC has had on their business and broader industry over the past year.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000) of what significant positive impact the GC has had on their business and/or industry in the past year. Please give specific examples.

Finalists Announced
September

Winner Announced
At the American Lawyer Industry Awards in December 2021

Who Should Apply
Associate or Deputy General Counsel

Award Description
As the role of the GC shifts more to business strategist, this award is to recognize the work of an Associate or Deputy GC in helping a GC with their new responsibilities.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000) of what the Associate or Deputy GC is doing to help lead the legal department, and help the department be cost effective and efficient. Please give specific examples.

Winner Announced
September

Who Should Apply
General Counsel

Award Description
This award is focused on the work a GC has done to move the needle for underrepresented groups in the legal industry.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000) of what significant positive impact this person has had on diversity issues. Please give specific examples.

Winner Announced
September

Who Should Apply
Legal Ops professionals

Award Description
This award is focused on legal ops teams that through their efforts have had a significant impact in helping to create a more effective and efficient department.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000) of what the team had successfully done to create an efficient and effective team. Please give specific examples.

Winner Announced
September

Who Should Apply
General Counsel and team

Award Description
This award is focused on the work by a GC or legal department team outside of their day job that truly has an impact in their community.

Deadline
April 6, 2021

Materials Required
A brief description (no more than 1,000) of what pro bono or charity work a legal leader or team has done and the impact on the community. Please give specific examples.

Winner Announced
September