Categories & Criteria

Appellate Hot List

The National Law Journal seeks nominations for the annual “Appellate Hot List.” This special report highlights law firms that have handled exemplary appellate matters. Potential nominees must be able to point to at least one significant appellate win since January 2019 and possess an impressive appellate practice track record overall. A “significant win” means prevailing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a U.S. circuit court of appeals or a state court of last resort when an important legal principle was at stake or the stakes were high, financially or otherwise.

Nominations should include: (1) A short description of the firm’s overall appellate track record (800 words maximum) and (2) The specific case or cases to be considered for the 2020 submission (5 pages maximum). Please include an explanation of the firm’s contribution to particular cases (i.e. presented oral arguments, drafted briefs, contributed amici arguments cited by the court) relative to significant co-counsel; and a list of the principal attorneys on a case, with their contact information included.

Deadline: July 31, 2020


D.C. Rising Stars

The National Law Journal’s D.C. Rising Stars awards note the Washington, D.C. region’s 40 most promising lawyers age 40 and under as of May 4, 2020.

Geography: To qualify for this awards program, lawyers must work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Criteria: We highlight lawyers who have wielded influence in their practice areas in the D.C. area and beyond. They should be innovators who: develop unique practice niches, secure wins for clients, cultivate robust books of business and demonstrate strong leadership qualities. Those qualities will be demonstrated by a combination of expertise in litigation or transactional work and significant community impact (displayed through sustained pro bono service and other public service.)

Firms can officially nominate a maximum of two attorneys. Attorneys may self nominate or nominate colleagues.

Deadline: May 4, 2020.


Winning Litigators

The National Law Journal is seeking nominations for its annual special section, "Winning Litigators: Profiles of Successful Attorneys and Their Strategies." Nominees should have at least one significant win in a jury or bench trial between Jan. 1, 2019, and June 5, 2020. "Significant" wins include prevailing when substantial damages were at stake, setting a legal precedent or overcoming an unfriendly jurisdiction.

Deadline: June 5, 2020


Closed Categories

Pro Bono Hot List

This list recognizes law firms that have led the way on access to justice. Winning past submissions have included pro bono work with a broad policy, social or financial impact; work that required great time and sacrifice from lawyers and/or work that, because of their clients’ unpopularity, exposed lawyers to criticism.

Please include a brief overview of the firm’s pro bono history and highlights and detailed descriptions of key pro bono matters resolved between Jan. 1, 2019, and Jan. 15, 2020.

Within these descriptions, please name the lawyers involved and describe the extent of their involvement on matters compared with co-counsel. On matters involving co-counsel, please include their names. Also include the names of opposing counsel and the names and contact information for at least two pro bono clients. Please limit nominations to no more than 1,800 words. Supporting documents on matters (news clips, etc.) do not count toward the word limit, but we ask that you please limit these supplemental materials to three pages.

The deadline for submissions is 10 a.m. EST on Thursday, March 16. 

Washington D.C. Litigation Departments of the Year

The National Law Journal is now accepting nominations for its Washington D.C. Litigation Departments of the Year competition. The Litigation Departments of the Year competition is open to any law firm with an office in the D.C. metro area.

The competition has two distinct categories:General litigation and specialty practice groups. Please submit matters led by lawyers from the D.C. metro area. Cases may include those filed or tried in a D.C.-area court and/or those filed or tried outside of the D.C. area (as long as they are led by lawyers from the D.C. area.) For each submission, we are asking you to submit: An overview essay explaining why your firm should win, a list of cases with brief descriptions of their significance, and a brief description of three upcoming matters at your firm.

The specialty contest will award departments focused in each of five areas: Intellectual Property, Products Liability/Mass Torts, Labor and Employment, Insurance, and White Collar Defense.

You may compete in more than one category. Separate submissions will be expected for each.

We plan to name winners in each category, but depending on the entrant pool, we may have multiple winners or runners-up in one group and none in another.

The submission deadline is April 3.