I’m currently being inundated with emails and snail mail from a company desperate to sell me a plaque I can hang on my wall, which will entitle me to proclaim myself to be something like the Most Awesomest Attorney EVER! It’s tempting because I’m well aware of my awesomeness and would like others to know about my awesomeness as well, but any award you have to pay to accept is not an award worth having.
I’m constantly amazed at the number of smart attorneys and well-respected law firms that buy the dubious honors sold to them. These awards are not going to drive droves of clients to your door. They don’t do much, if anything, for search engine optimization. And they make people who share my opinion of these awards think less of you.
If your firm’s pressuring you to win an award, do something worthy of winning a real one.
Not sure what qualifies as award-worthy? Check out the four awards given out each year by the Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey State Bar Association. I’m not saying you should reverse-engineer your life so that you are award-worthy. But you should know what legitimate awards are out there and not be shy about applying if you think you fit the bill. Better yet, know what awards are out there and nominate your colleagues and friends for them. Let’s not be shy about promoting the good work of others. A sincere nomination can mean more to the person who deserves it than any plaque ever would.
Having a hard time with the nomination? I can help. I have successfully drafted many award nominations. I can help you figure out what to say to make your nomination stand out from the rest.
A version of this article appeared in the newsletter of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.