Their votes highlighted fantastic accomplishments of lawyers across the spectrum
This year is our 12th year publishing the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in the justice system list. While the process for selecting the winners has evolved, the underlying goal has not. The Top 25 Most Influential reflects the lawyers who have made the most significant impact on the profession in the last 18 months.
Of course, words such as “impact” and “significant” can be subjective. There is no mathematical formula to calculate these things. That is why we ask our readers to vote on the selected nominees to gauge what the profession thinks.
But garnering votes is also not a perfect reflection of suitability, as anyone who follows politics can attest. That is why the voting results are not the final arbiter. Our reader votes generate a short list, but our editorial team has also aimed to ensure that any winners had a recent impact. In other words, it is not a lifetime achievement award. We would also consider candidates in smaller provinces or practice areas with fewer votes but more than any comparable nominees.
In addition to our views on these questions, our editorial team regularly seeks feedback from leaders in the profession. That is why this year, we introduced our Editorial Board. As well as helping us with the Top 25, the Editorial Board will be adding further balance and insight to a wide range of Canadian Lawyer initiatives and those of its sister publications. The board members are not new to us — they are lawyers we had worked with before to provide informal feedback. Some were judges for our events, and others we interviewed as experts in our stories.
The board members all shared a commitment to providing unbiased opinions on the most noteworthy candidates that our readers brought forward. What most impressed us in their input was the dedication to diversity, whether by region, practice area, gender, or other traits. Their votes were not self-serving but served the profession, by highlighting the fantastic accomplishments of lawyers across the spectrum.
Readers may disagree with some of their choices, but our aim in creating the Editorial Board was to be more transparent in whose input we received and how we assessed it. Because one thing is sure: The Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2021 reflects true excellence. The legal profession made sure of that.