I’m pleased to announce I’ve been voted the 2016 lawyer of the year in Best Lawyers for trusts and estates litigation in Miami, Florida.

I’m a bit ambivalent about rating services in general, and I certainly didn’t seek this one out. But then again, gone are the days when word of mouth was all we had.

Pre-internet, if you didn’t know someone who knew the “right” lawyer for the job, you were out of luck. Today, the internet has become the place where most professionals “check each other out,” and where most laypeople shop for the exact specialists they need to solve their particular problem, including lawyers. This world favors niche practitioners (like yours truly!). And ratings services are an integral part of that informational ecosystem. So who am I to judge?

Anyway, here’s how Best Lawyers described its background and methodology in an ABA piece entitled The Lawyer Raters: In Their Own Words:

Best Lawyers was first published in 1983, founded by the Harvard Law grads who were hired by a publisher to produce a book called “What Every Client Needs to Know About Hiring an Attorney.” Because attorneys know each other’s work and because they are quite candid about each other, it was decided that if you ask enough people the right questions, you’ll get something close to the truth.

Best Lawyers is still an advertisement-free publication. From the beginning, Best Lawyers has been excerpted in various city and regional publications to let people know about the local attorneys who represent the best in their profession, based on detailed evaluations by other lawyers.

The peer review methodology lets you know who the voting pool is. The listees in the previous edition are asked to give their opinion on the quality of the work of nominees and other listees. You have to be voted into the books each year. There’s no sequential ranking within the book. It represents about 3% of private practice attorneys in the United States.

Recently we announced a partnership with U.S. News and World Report, which is known for its institutional rankings, to power its list of Best Law Firms. U.S. News came to Best Lawyers because of our strength in the legal marketplace and our reputation built on providing rankings of individual lawyers.