As the name suggests, Lawyer Monthly is a magazine for lawyers that comes out monthly. The publication also hosts a website that covers global legal news and lifestyle content for lawyers. Lawyer Monthly is published by Universal Media, a media company based in the UK that publishes similar magazines for leaders in business, finance, and hospitality.
Every year since 2011, Lawyer Monthly has selected a group of lawyers from around the world to highlight in its annual Legal Awards Winners Edition. According to its website, the magazine uses a peer voting process similar to Super Lawyers or Best Lawyers. Lawyer Monthly readers are invited to submit nominations of their peers during a voting period each summer. Candidates who get at least 20 votes are added to a shortlist and given the opportunity to provide supporting materials. From there, Lawyer Monthly’s judging panel makes the final decision, choosing approximately 100 lawyers and firms to include in its Winners Edition. The magazine has similar awards for women in law and expert witnesses.
Why You Should Apply (And Why You Shouldn’t)
If Lawyer Monthly’s selection process is as rigorous as it says it is, that would make this award one of the most competitive in the industry. Only one firm and/or lawyer in the world is chosen for each practice area -- of course, you’d want to apply if it means potentially winning such a prestigious award. Lawyer Monthly’s Legal Awards are especially appealing if you do any work outside of the US, considering the magazine’s international focus.
However, Lawyer Monthly’s Legal Awards has come under fire for being just another pay-to-play award that sends invitations to lawyers at random with no real voting process. Lawyers have said they’ve gotten winning notices without ever nominating themselves or being nominated by a peer. Other attorneys have supposedly won in practice areas they’ve never worked in. Lawyer Monthly also strongly encourages winners to purchase advertising in the Winners Edition with prices starting at £695, or around $900. The magazine says that lawyers who don’t buy ads are still listed in the front of the Winners Edition, but some past winners beg to differ.
Lawyers Monthly Award Snapshot:
Applications Due (typically): Voting is open from June to August each year.
Recipients Notified (typically): The shortlist of nominated lawyers is released in August, with the final list of winners released in September.
Award Recipients: Awards are given to both lawyers and firms. Winners can only be chosen for one category, and each category only has one winner.
Annual Award: Yes, firms and lawyers can be nominated each year.
Estimated Cost: It’s free to be nominated. Advertising purportedly starts at £695 ($900) and goes up to £3,495 ($4,500).
Award Recognition Promotion Options:
- Newsletter/Digital Magazine Inclusion: Yes
- Physical Magazine promotions: Yes
- Plaques: No
- Physical Awards: No
- Press Release Options: No
- Directory Inclusion: No
- Additional Advertising Options: Lawyer Monthly says it “embarks on a targeted marketing campaign” to “ensure winners receive the maximum benefit,” but they don’t elaborate on what that campaign entails.
- Branded Bragging rights: Lawyer Monthly doesn’t offer the use of its logo, but you’re free to publicize the award.
- Expertise: Lawyer Monthly’s Legal Awards are an attempt to “reward those firms and lawyers who have demonstrated peerless accomplishments within their sector,” but the guidelines aren’t more specific than that. The Legal Awards cover a wide range of specialized practice areas, and if your area is not listed, you can be nominated under the “other” category. The judging panel supposedly considers things like client testimonials, matter values, past awards, and client service, but they don’t say what, exactly, they’re looking for.
- Years of Legal Experience: Lawyer Monthly doesn’t specify.
- Limit on # of Attorneys Nominated from Firm?: There’s no rule about nominating multiple lawyers, but only one lawyer per firm can win across all practice areas.
- Case Results/Outcomes? The judging panel supposedly considers case activity in the last 12 months.
- Recommendations/Nominations? Lawyer Monthly says attorneys must first receive at least 20 nominations to be considered. Once you’re on the shortlist, you can provide testimonials from clients and colleagues.
How to Win
According to the website, the first step to winning is getting at least 20 nominations during the voting period. There is no rule against nominating yourself or campaigning for votes, so feel free to ask clients and peers to fill out the voting form on the Lawyer Monthly website. Once you’ve been shortlisted, you’ll have an opportunity to provide your CV, prior awards, company accolades, and client and colleague references. Of course, all of this is moot if Lawyer Monthly simply selects attorneys based on their suspected willingness to pay for advertising. But if you are willingto pay for that advertising, it’s still a good idea to fill out the voting form or email the editor--it will get you on Lawyer Monthly’s radar.
The Bottom Line
Lawyer Monthly’s Legal Awards is, for all intents and purposes, a paid award. Winning doesn’t offer many benefits aside from being listed in Lawyer Monthly magazine, but if you have international clients who would be impressed by your inclusion, perhaps it’s worth the investment.