Don’t be fooled by these tactics!
Are you facing a dilemma in choosing between two lawyers? Perhaps one of them has been celebrated by the American Academy of Civil Law Distinction, while the other has been recognized as a State Top 50 by the Academy of American Justice. However, the decision may not be as challenging as it seems. The truth is, both names are fabricated, but they serve as examples of the kind of vanity award scams often encountered in the legal profession. These so-called “ego awards” hold no real merit in determining a lawyer’s excellence, much like someone embellishing their website with a Google logo.
At Hammerschmidt Law, we get countless solicitations from these fraudulent award schemes, attempting to entice us into paying large amounts of money for a plaque and logo that we, along with the websites soliciting our money, are fully aware hold no real significance. It becomes evident that the only individuals deceived by such tactics are the unsuspecting public. We remain committed to maintaining our integrity and providing genuine value to our clients, rather than succumbing to these misleading practices.
We have adopted a firm stance of disregarding these deceptive award solicitations, and we encourage others to do the same!
One of the telltale signs that an award might be questionable is when it requires payment from the lawyer. Pay-to-play awards are primarily based on the criterion of paying to be included, rather than recognizing actual skills or expertise. Genuine awards, on the other hand, celebrate exceptional lawyers without any consideration for whether they have paid or not. Examples of such legitimate awards include Super Lawyers, U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers in America, and others that prioritize merit and accomplishment over financial contributions.
There are many examples that prove these awards mean absolutely nothing. Hilariously, all of these examples include animals.
Teaching an old dog new tricks
Attorney Steve Fisher, known for his provocative blog post titled “My Dog is Better than Your Lawyer,” took the unconventional step of nominating his dog, S. Roosticus Fischer, for inclusion in Lawyers of Distinction. Surprisingly, the seemingly exceptional canine was accepted for this honor, albeit with the requirement of a payment of $475. In exchange, the vanity award site promised to furnish a plaque proclaiming that a dog had achieved a top 10% ranking among lawyers.
The case of Roosticus was not an isolated incident. The Davis Law Firm based in Seattle has openly admitted to paying Lawyers of Distinction the sum of $475. In return, the website recognized their pet dog, Lucy, as part of the esteemed top 10% of lawyers in the United States. If this isn’t a clear example of pay-to-play, it’s challenging to imagine what is.