Categories & Criteria

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Open to Anyone in the Pennsylvania Legal Community
We’re looking for recommendations of attorneys from all corners of the legal profession and the state—not just firm founders—including jurists, office holders and anyone else who has left an imprint on the legal history of the state during their career. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Attorney of the Year

Open to Anyone in the Pennsylvania Legal Community
The Attorney of the Year Award goes to an attorney or judge whose work in 2019 had a distinct impact on the law and the legal profession in Pennsylvania. Our criteria for this award is intentionally broad. The award could go to a trial lawyer who won a big case or a judge who reshaped an area of law with an opinion, or a managing partner or GC who took steps to revolutionize the business of law in Pennsylvania. The attorney’s credentials aren’t the focus here; we’re most interested in what he or she did in 2019 to leave a mark. The Legal’s editorial staff will consult with esteemed members of the Pennsylvania legal community to narrow down the nominees to three finalists and pick one winner from those three. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Most Innovative Law Firms

Open to Law Firms of ANY Size This award seeks to honor law firms that push the envelope to build their businesses. It could be a firm that has embraced technology to become more efficient or one that has come up with a creative approach to training and mentoring young lawyers; it could be a firm that’s created an indispensible app for clients or one that has taken a unique approach to partner retreats—the possibilities are endless. Boiled down to its essence, this award seeks to recognize law firms that think outside the box and have demonstrated an ability to distinguish their brands in a crowded market in order to attract and retain clients, as well as talent. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Law Firm of the Year

Open to Law Firms of ANY Size This award will go to the firm that has the best and most meritorious submissions across multiple categories. The purpose of the award is to recognize the Pennsylvania firm that has demonstrated a broad spectrum of achievements in the past year and talent depth. In order to be considered, firms must enter submissions across multiple categories. At a minimum, firms must submit in the following categories: Lawyers on the Fast Track, Lifetime and/or Best Mentors, Litigation and/or Dealmakers categories.
 

Most-Effective Dealmakers

Open to Attorneys at Law Firms of ANY Size Quantity or dollar volume are not the only criteria. These dealmakers get repeat business for how they achieve their clients’ goals so that both sides sign on the dotted lines. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination, focusing on transactions from 2019.
 

In-House Impact

Open to ANY Member or Members of a Legal Department at a Pennsylvania-Based Company This award recognizes either members of legal departments or entire legal departments who had significant accomplishments in 2019. As just a few examples, such accomplishments may include growing the legal department’s head count or expanding the scope of its duties; significantly reducing legal spend or successfully completing a major undertaking such as a corporate merger or acquisition. An individual honoree does not have to be the chief legal officer—it can be any attorney or professional within a legal department whose contributions have added value or helped to transform the department from a cost center to a business unit. Likewise, entire legal departments are also eligible for this award. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Lawyers on the Fast Track

Open to Pennsylvania Lawyers Under Age 40
Each year, we celebrate the next generation of legal leaders by honoring Lawyers on the Fast Track. We need YOU to help us find lawyers deserving of this honor. The nominee must base his or her practice in Pennsylvania, and he or she cannot have received this honor before. Anyone who has a completed nomination form submitted on his or her behalf may be considered for the honor. Completed nomination forms will be evaluated by an impartial judging panel, made up of members of the Pennsylvania legal community. Those nominees receiving the highest composite scores from all the panelists will be our 2020 Lawyers on the Fast Track. 
 

Legal Innovators

Open to Anyone in the Pennsylvania Legal Community
This award seeks to honor innovative efforts by individual lawyers and legal professionals. Like the “Most Innovative Law Firms” category, the innovation could be technology-oriented, but it doesn’t have to be. We want to hear about attorneys and legal professionals who have come up with game-changing ideas for their practices or organizations and who were then able to execute on their vision. 
 

Best Law Firm Mentors

Open to Attorneys and Professionals at Law Firms of ANY Size
This award honors those more senior attorneys who have taken it upon themselves to prepare the next generation of legal talent. We are looking for a sage here, someone who has provided valuable knowledge to younger attorneys, paving the way for advancement and stellar contributions to the industry. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Unsung Heroes

Open to Anyone in the Pennsylvania Legal Community
This award recognizes attorneys and legal professionals who have gone unnoticed for, or were instrumental behind the scenes in, particularly important work. For example, it  could be an associate whose work made the difference in a major piece of litigation or a more senior attorney whose presence has had a positive impact on a law firm or organization’s culture. The idea is to give due credit to attorneys and legal professionals whose work, while not necessarily flashy, is vital to the success of their firm or organization. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Distinguished Leaders

Open to Anyone in the Pennsylvania Legal Community
This award recognizes lawyers and legal professionals who achieved impressive results in the past year and demonstrated clear leadership skills that helped them achieve those results. That could be a litigation team leader winning a notable case against unfavorable odds, a managing partner who helped the firm achieve notable growth during the past year, a judge who oversaw a large mass tort program, a public interest attorney who helped pass legislation or in-house counsel who revamped the legal department or a C-suite professional who had a major positive impact on their firm’s business. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Power Players

Open to Anyone in the Pennsylvania Legal Community
This award honors attorneys who, through their advocacy, made a significant impact in 2019 on public policy, legislation or jurisprudence in Pennsylvania. As just a few examples, those efforts may include successfully arguing a case at the trial or appellate level that results in a substantive change to public policy, legislation or case law; testifying before a legislative body or filing an influential amicus brief. Please submit a 300-500 word nomination.
 

Litigation Departments of the Year

Open ONLY to Law Firms With Fewer Than 200 Attorneys Firmwide
We will be honoring the top general litigation departments, as well as specialty areas including: Intellectual Property; Products Liability/Mass Torts; Labor and Employment; Insurance; Professional Liability; Class Action and Appellate Law. The competition is open to small and midsize law firms with a Pennsylvania presence; Pennsylvania lawyers must have had a significant impact on the work being presented, though the work does not need to have been done in Pennsylvania. 

If you have any questions, please contact Pearl Wu at pwu@alm.com.