Categories & Criteria

Please note: All submissions will need to be made on the online portal, which you can find here.

This award recognizes the region’s most promising lawyers who are no older than 40 by the submission date. Past honorees are not eligible for an additional award.

Submission details:
1.
Write an essay of no more than 500 words describing why the nominee should be selected. Describe the accomplishments during the last year that qualify the nominee for our list. Lifetime achievement essays can be up to 1,000 words.
2. We’ll also require the following information:
  • Employer
  • Title
  • City/State
  • Birthdate
  • Education
  • Legal work experience (including dates and employer names)
  • Contact Info (Email and Phone)
  • Other relevant information (awards, affiliations, significant publications)
3. Upload a high-resolution color photo of the nominee, at least 200 dpi
4. Include contact information for two references (inside or outside of the firm/organization) for an on-the-record conversation about the nominee’s legal work and accomplishments.
This award recognizes attorneys in leadership roles who achieved impressive results in the past year. Strong leaders are hard to come by, and we want to highlight lawyers who had great performances while demonstrating clear leadership skills leading to positive outcomes. Please see below for instructions on how to submit a nomination.

Submission details:
1.
Write an essay of no more than 500 words describing why the nominee should be selected. Describe the accomplishments during the last year that qualify the nominee for our list. Lifetime achievement essays can be up to 1,000 words.
2. We’ll also require the following information:
  • Employer
  • Title
  • City/State
  • Birthdate
  • Education
  • Legal work experience (including dates and employer names)
  • Contact Info (Email and Phone)
  • Other relevant information (awards, affiliations, significant publications)
3. Upload a high-resolution color photo of the nominee, at least 200 dpi
4. Include contact information for two references (inside or outside of the firm/organization) for an on-the-record conversation about the nominee’s legal work and accomplishments.
This award honors an attorney’s accomplishments and impact on the legal community and the practice of law over an entire career. Please see below for instructions on how to submit a nomination.

Submission details:
1.
Write an essay of no more than 500 words describing why the nominee should be selected. Describe the accomplishments during the last year that qualify the nominee for our list. Lifetime achievement essays can be up to 1,000 words.
2. We’ll also require the following information:
  • Employer
  • Title
  • City/State
  • Birthdate
  • Education
  • Legal work experience (including dates and employer names)
  • Contact Info (Email and Phone)
  • Other relevant information (awards, affiliations, significant publications)
3. Upload a high-resolution color photo of the nominee, at least 200 dpi
4. Include contact information for two references (inside or outside of the firm/organization) for an on-the-record conversation about the nominee’s legal work and accomplishments.
This “MVP” award goes to the lawyer who had the most profound effect on the law or legal community in the past year or did the most to advance the cause of justice. Three finalists will be recognized; the winner will be announced at a recognition event in October.

Submission details:
1.
Write an essay of no more than 500 words describing why the nominee should be selected. Describe the accomplishments during the last year that qualify the nominee for our list. Lifetime achievement essays can be up to 1,000 words.
2. We’ll also require the following information:
  • Employer
  • Title
  • City/State
  • Birthdate
  • Education
  • Legal work experience (including dates and employer names)
  • Contact Info (Email and Phone)
  • Other relevant information (awards, affiliations, significant publications)
3. Upload a high-resolution color photo of the nominee, at least 200 dpi
4. Include contact information for two references (inside or outside of the firm/organization) for an on-the-record conversation about the nominee’s legal work and accomplishments.
This contest recognizes outstanding work performed by general counsel and in-house legal departments over the past year, including an individual award for GC Impact.

To qualify, the departments must be led by lawyers in the state of New York. Law departments of any size are eligible.

Categories:
Outstanding Legal Department
Outside Counsel Management
Technology
Diversity and Quality of Life
Pro Bono and Community Service
Corporate Compliance
GC Impact

The awards are based on success stories: how a given corporate counsel's office, regardless of its size, came up with innovative programs, used ingenuity to solve problems or surmounted a scarcity of resources and still delivered high quality client service. Among the general questions you should try address in your entry:
 
  • What makes your legal department special? Tell us how your department stands out from the crowd.
  • What litigation challenges have you faced in the last year?
  • How have you changed the way you manage outside counsel and what factors prompted those changes?
  • How has technology changed the way you do business? In what ways has it contributed to overall efficiency?
  • Are your in-house attorneys involved in ongoing legal pro bono programs? Does your company have pro bono partnerships with law firms? If so, which firms and what are the projects?
  • How diverse is your legal department? What quality-of-life initiatives have you attempted?

Law Department Information
Please provide the following information:
  • Company
  • Headquarters
  • Industry
  • Number of lawyers in New York
  • Number of lawyers in the United States
  • Number of lawyers worldwide
  • Contact person (include telephone and email) whom we may contact with questions
     

Sub-Category 1: Outstanding Legal Department

Please submit a short essay.

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 last calendar year, although you can describe work done in prior years that contributed to the accomplishment. Among the questions you should attempt to answer:
 
  • Describe your most significant litigation activities in the last year, including pretrial achievements, trial victories, arbitrations and settlements.
  • Describe any unique strategies for multiple litigation matters, such as suits involving the same product.
  • Describe any out-of-the-ordinary non-litigation 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 non-litigation matters, such as patent applications or employment contracts.
 

Sub-Category 2: Outside Counsel Management

Please submit a short essay. Among the questions you should attempt to answer:
 
  • How do you choose outside counsel: on a case-by-case basis, or by a preferred providers list?
  • Describe any innovative selection techniques to choose outside counsel.
  • By what percentage did your spending on outside counsel increase or decrease in the last year?
  • Describe any innovative fee arrangements that you reached with outside counsel.
  • Describe any other major innovations in managing outside counsel that you’ve put into place.
  • Describe your most significant litigation activities in the last year, including pretrial achievements, trial victories, arbitrations, and settlements.
     

Sub-Category 3: Technology

Please submit a short essay. Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

Describe 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 has made work in the department easier and more efficient.
 

Sub-Category 4: Diversity and Quality of Life

Please submit a short essay. Among the questions you should attempt to answer:
 
  • What is the percentage of women attorneys among your lawyers? Among your senior lawyers? How have these percentages changed from the previous year?
  • What is the current percentage of minority American attorneys among your lawyers? Among your senior lawyers? (Please provide a breakdown by category: African American, Hispanic American, Asian American and Other Minority American.) How have these percentages changed from the previous year?
  • Describe in detail how you encourage and reward diversity—both in your legal department, and among your outside law firms. Are you a signatory to the Call to Action?
  • Do you have a defined route for the advancement of your in-house lawyers? If so, describe.
  • Describe any innovative or flexible time arrangements for your in-house lawyers.
     

Sub-Category 5: Pro Bono and Community Service

Please submit a short essay. Among the questions you should attempt to answer:
 
  • Do you have a formal legal pro bono program? Please describe. How do you encourage your in-house lawyers to participate? Are you a signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge?
  • Describe significant pro bono or community service projects that your department worked on in the last year. Please provide the number of attorneys and amount of hours that were contributed to each project.
 

Sub-Category 6: Corporate Compliance

Please submit a short essay. Among the questions you should attempt to answer:
 
  • Describe 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?
 

Sub-Category 7: GC Impact

This recognizes an in-house lawyer who had a significant accomplishment in 2018. Please send up to 500 words about this person and their impact on your company in the past year.
This contest has two distinct sections: the top department in general litigation, and the top specialty practice departments. The competition is open to any law firm with a New York presence; New York lawyers must have had a significant impact on the work being presented, though the work can extend beyond New York.

Submission details:
  1. Describe, in 500 words or less, 6 to 8 litigation results that demonstrate your department’s excellence. This list can and should include trial and appellate results and could include pro bono results. For each result, please include the names of clients, lead partners and opposing counsel, as well as contact information for all involved whenever possible. Descriptions of results should include specific dollar amounts where relevant.
  2. Write an essay, in 1,000 words or less, explaining why your firm should be recognized, such as overcoming specific challenges and achieving specific goals.
  3. Include 3 client references, including phone numbers or email addresses.

The specialty contest will award departments focused in at least six of these areas: Real Estate, Finance, Intellectual Property, Products Liability/Mass Torts, Labor and Employment, Insurance, Professional Liability and Class Action. Firms can compete in more than one specialty category, but separate submissions will be expected.