We are pleased to announce that our own Eric Purchase & Tim George have been named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® for 2016. The annual list is compiled by an independent service using a patented selection process designed to identify outstanding lawyers in particular practice areas. Eric was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer® in the practice area "Personal Injury - Plaintiff." Tim was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer® in the practice area A Criminal Defense."

High profile distinctions like this one are always fun to report, especially when one (or two) of our own are singled out as being among the best injury and criminal defense lawyers in Pennsylvania. But we know that most lawyers are able to advertise something that sounds flattering about themselves. So, we thought we'd take the opportunity to remind our readers that there's more to choosing a lawyer than impressive ratings.

Lawyer ratings may be an indicator of achievement but you should dig further into the criteria and methodology of the rating service. Super Lawyers® for example uses a three step system. Lawyers are nominated by their peers or through third party research. Super Lawyers® then applies twelve indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Finalists for the Super Lawyer® designation are then submitted to a A Blue Ribbon Panel@ of practitioners that rates candidates. Only those candidates receiving the top scores in each category are selected as Super Lawyers® and in no event may the list of Super Lawyers® exceed 5% of the lawyers in the state.

Other lawyer rating services use different criteria like the amount of the highest settlement or verdict a lawyer has obtained or, perhaps more troubling, whether the lawyer is willing to pay to be a subscriber or advertiser. Regardless, ratings are only as good as the criteria and methodology employed so look past the shiny rating and ask about how the rating was achieved.

Also, consider that a rating is just one factor to be considered. No matter how "Super" a lawyer is, if the lawyer doesn't have experience with your type of case or if you and your lawyer don't connect on a personal level at your initial consultation, then the lawyer may not be right for you or your case. For more on how to choose the right lawyer, ask us to send you our free book on choosing the right lawyer or by going to PurchaseGeorge.com.