Awards for Lawyers: Leaders in the Law Overview

Leaders in the Law is a group of attorney directories published throughout the year by a marketing company of the same name. Although Leaders in the Law says it “values attorney achievements stemming from philanthropic and pro bono work and long-term fights for justice,” and many lawyers treat inclusion in Leaders in the Law like an award, its main offering is just a paid directory, with no application process or requirements (except that you open your wallet).

Leaders in the Law offers products for lawyers throughout the country, but it focuses on six major cities: New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Miami. The company publishes an online directory on its website and special advertising sections in regional publications, including New York Magazine, The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In addition to the regional Leaders in the Law lists, the company also publishes Women Leaders in the Law and practice area-specific lists, including Leading Personal Injury Lawyers and Leading Family Law Attorneys.

Why You Should Apply (And Why You Shouldn’t)

Leaders in the Law is essentially paid advertising, but at least it’s nicely designed advertising that appears in reputable publications. Plus, the company isn’t deceptive—the website and employees are pretty upfront about the fact that it’s a marketing company first and foremost. And, as far as paid directories and awards go, Leaders in the Law is one of the more legitimate and high-quality ones.

The downside? Leaders in the Law may look impressive to clients at first, but a visit to the website will make it evident that you paid for the recognition. Of course, clients may not care enough to research your awards and designations deeply, but if you’re at all worried about clients perceiving you as disingenuous, you may consider avoiding buying “awards” like Leaders in the Law.

Leaders in the Law Award Overview

Applications Due (typically): Leaders in the Law offers marketing options year-round, but deadlines for special advertising sections vary widely depending on the city and practice area. Contact Leaders in the Law to see when materials are due.

Recipients Notified (typically): N/A

Award Recipients: Special advertising sections generally showcase firms, but theoretically, nothing is stopping an individual attorney or solo practitioner from buying an ad. The directory on Leaders in the Law’s website includes entries for both lawyers and firms, and multiple lawyers from the same firm can be listed.

Annual Award: Leaders in the Law’s special sections run every year, and there is no limit to how many times you may be included.

Estimated Cost: Fees start around $3,000 and can go as high as you’re willing to pay.

Award Recognition Promotion Options:

  • Newsletter/Digital Magazine Inclusion: Yes
  • Physical Magazine promotions: Yes
  • Plaques: No
  • Physical Awards: No
  • Press Release Options: No
  • Directory Inclusion: Yes
  • Additional Advertising Options: Leaders in the Law offers content marketing services and can place educational articles on magazine and newspaper websites.
  • Branded Bragging rights: Yes, you get use of the Leaders in the Law logo for a year.


  • Expertise: No requirements. Leaders in the Law won’t verify the information you include in your ad or directory profile, but you should follow the ethical guidelines set forth by your state bar association.
  • Years of Legal Experience: No requirement.
  • Limit on # of Attorneys Nominated from Firm?: Ads are typically purchased by firms, which may highlight just one or several attorneys. An unlimited number of attorneys from the same firm can be listed in the Leaders in the Law directory.
  • Case Results/Outcomes? Case results have no bearing on your ability to purchase an ad or directory profile.
  • Recommendations/Nominations? No recommendations or nominations are needed.

How to Win

Easy: shell out some money. From what we’ve seen for New York magazine’s Leaders in the Law, prices start at $3,900 for an attorney profile, up to $24,900 for a two-page spread. Leaders in the Law offers other marketing solutions for attorneys throughout the country, so contact them directly to get a better sense of what their services will cost you.

The Bottom Line

Leaders in the Law is purely pay-to-play, but the company is legit, and ads appear in well-respected publications. If you work in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, or Miami, and you’re looking for a quick and easy way to add some flash to your website or resume, you could do worse than Leaders in the Law.

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