Once again, we feature 40 lawyers we think are worthy of attention, using a selection method that is unapologetically unscientific but that we’re nonetheless sure is calculated to produce excellent results. We do not presume to say that these attorneys are the best in the state in their age group — only that they have distinguished themselves in ways that draw our interest as observers of the legal profession.

Our basic criteria for selection of these rising stars, now in their second decade of practice, are that they have developed practice niches, amassed strong books of business, demonstrated leadership qualities, shown expertise in litigation or transactional work and committed themselves to pro bono, charitable and professional volunteer work. All of these factors tend to make an individual stand out among his or her peers and also signal greater accomplishments ahead.