It’s time again for the New Jersey Law Journal’s Professional Excellence project, where we set out to recognize great lawyers and lawyering. Our goal at ALM Media is to serve the entire legal community and, as part of that, we’re adding new wrinkles to awards season to make sure we highlight the great work and achievements across the full breadth of the New Jersey legal community. We know remarkable legal work is being done, and successes achieved, at firms and organizations of all sizes, and we want to highlight as much of it as possible.

While our traditional individual recognitions remain open to firms of all sizes (Attorney of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, New Leaders of the Bar), our other individual and group recognitions now target midsize and smaller firms (those with up to 200 lawyers total, firmwide).

As always, the Law Journal editorial staff will be engaged in its own research and due diligence, but we invite submissions in the following categories. Please access the below related links for more information, and read and follow all instructions carefully:

Individual Recognitions

  • New Leaders of the Bar—Attorneys yet to reach the age of 40 who bring both notable achievements and outstanding potential to the table. Open to all firms. (Download form here).
  • Lifetime Achievement—Recognizing a single attorney who has left a mark on the profession through consistent excellence in his or her career. Send a brief letter (up to 500 words) introducing the candidate, and explaining why he or she deserves the recognition. Open to all firms.
  • Attorney of the Year—The name speaks for itself, but the ideal candidate will have made his or her mark on the profession, and in the law, with an achievement that goes beyond service to the client. These achievements should have come within the preceding year. Send a brief letter  (up to 500 words) introducing the candidate, and explaining why he or she made the greatest impact of all during the year. Open to all firms.

    New Individual Recognitions

  •  Jersey Dealmakers of the Year—While New Jersey boasts excellent litigators, it is also home to talented and hardworking transactional lawyers. Send a letter (up to 500 words) nominating  a practitioner or small group in corporate, M&A, real estate, bankruptcy or another transactional practice explaining how that practitioner or group achieved excellence in 2017. Open to law firms with up to 200 attorneys.
  • Mentors—It takes talent and determination to become an excellent practitioner, but teaching others is a talent unto itself. Good mentors can take those around them to the next level, whether through formal mentorship programs or simply serving as good leaders and guides. In a brief letter up to 500 words, tell us about someone at your firm or organization who takes the time and effort to be a true mentor, and why they excel at it. Open to law firms with up to 200 attorneys.
  • Grinders—Whether it’s drafting an important brief or contract, working with experts or other witnesses, or arguing a case that went unnoticed but was nevertheless significant, much of the excellent legal results achieved each day in New Jersey are a credit to those working long hours behind the scenes. Nominate an individual practitioner who gets it done, grinds it out, or otherwise is indispensable to the efforts of the firm or organization by sending a nomination letter up to 500 words. Open to law firms with up to 200 attorneys.
  • GC Impact—The work of in-house lawyers is often unheralded, but those lawyers are impacting the practice of law, and those around them, every day. This honor recognizes an in-house lawyer who had a significant accomplishment in 2017. Please send a nomination letter  (up to 500 words) briefly explaining how that in-house practitioner made an impact (and please note that nominations remain anonymous to the nominees). Open to legal departments of all sizes.

Group Recognitions

  • Legal Departments of the Year—In-house counsel’s chance to share the preceding year’s outstanding achievements. Categories include, but are not limited to, outside counsel management, diversity, technology, pro bono and community service, and general excellence. (Download form here). Please note that we do not identify nominators to the nominees.
  • Litigation Departments of the Year (Midsize)—Law firms, tell us why your litigation groups excelled in 2017. Submission in one or multiple categories is welcome. Categories are: General, Class Action, Insurance, Labor & Employment, Product Liability, and Intellectual Property. (Download form here). Open to law firms with up to 200 attorneys.

How to Submit

Please take note of submission requirements for each specific recognition, as they do vary. All nominations will remain anonymous. Submissions may be sent—with the relevant form or attachment—to with “NJLJ” and the candidate’s name, and the relevant category in the email subject line (e.g. NJLJ—Jane Doe—NEW LEADERS OF THE BAR). 


If you have questions, please contact Recognition Events Desk Manager, Pearl Wu, at or 212-457-9646.

Winners for the various recognitions will be announced in the coming months, leading up to publication of our awards magazines and our Professional Excellence event, slated for June. Details will follow as the time draws nearer.

So please don’t delay. The review process that follows will be arduous but, as we’ve said before, it’s rewarding. We sincerely look forward to it.