The 2016 Maryland Super Lawyers Magazine recently released its list of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Super Lawyers are peer-nominated and vetted through a selection process that identifies no more than 5 percent of attorneys in each state. The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state and consists of attorneys who are not selected as Super Lawyers but are either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.
Are you a Super Lawyer or Rising Star? If not, don’t feel bad because I also did not make the list. The listing is not necessarily a true indication of your abilities as an attorney or even your reputation in the legal community, but rather a marketing tool to build your credibility and prominence to potential clients.
In a challenging job market with an overabundance of attorneys, your ability to generate clients sets you apart from other attorneys and makes you more marketable than your abilities as an attorney. True rising stars will begin to distinguish themselves from their counterparts. Even if you are not the rainmaker in your firm or looking for a new job, it is never too early to market yourself.
Promoting yourself is more important than promoting your firm if you work for someone else, because if and when you leave the firm, your marketability and name recognition travels with you. Some ways to market yourself include
1) creating a social media persona through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms;
2) adding and updating your profiles on free attorney listings such as Avvo, Thumbtack, Yelp, and Justia;
3) writing articles for legal publications or blogs;
4) volunteering to provide presentations at conferences;
5) becoming involved in bar associations and other organizations; and
6) attending networking and community events.
In my own personal practice, I strive to distinguish myself from the crowd and rise from the sea of obscurity. Am I a Super Lawyer or Rising Star? If you think so, you have an opportunity to nominate me here! I understand that the recognition does not define who we are as attorneys, but rather helps us to be more marketable.