Bona Fide Super Lawyers?

Until recently, I paid absolutely no attention to the annual announcement of New Jersey’s Super Lawyers. Having practiced law for 25 years, I’d seen my share of wins and losses, both the result of hard work, mental toughness and grit, with the wins often separated from the losses by what seemed to me to be little more than sheer luck. So, identifying a “Super Lawyer” from the rest of the more than 83,000 lawyers in New Jersey seemed superficial, at best. All of that changed in 2007 when I was named a New Jersey Super Lawyer in the Elder Law category (also published in the April print edition of New Jersey Monthly magazine). In 2008, I was again named a New Jersey Super Lawyer, this time in the Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate, and Alternative Dispute Resolution categories.

I don’t know what made me a Super Lawyer in 2007 and 2008, or why some terrific lawyers I know who practice Elder Law or Estate Planning have yet to make the list. But I confess that I’d rather be on the list than not. The “Super Lawyers” web site says that I was nominated and voted for by my peers, and if that is the case, I am grateful. I have colleagues I respect who have been selected as Super Lawyers but refused to accept the designation. I wish I could say that I didn’t care that I got selected, but I do. I also admit that I bought the plaque commemorating the event in both of the years I was named a New Jersey Super Lawyer. I don’t know why, but now that I’ve been recognized as a Super Lawyer the entire process seems somehow valid, fair-minded and accurate, at least much more so than in those bad, past years when others were recognized but not me.