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Best Lawyers: Perspectives Through the Decades

Since the inaugural issue of Best Lawyers® in 1983, the legal industry has continually evolved to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. New practice areas have formed to protect clients and a society impacted by emerging risks in business and healthcare, for example, while advances in technology have provided opportunities to try cases without physically being in a courtroom.

Furthermore, every lawyer aims to meet and exceed the expectations of clients, which can be challenging when changes in various sectors can outpace the reaction time needed to prepare legal strategies.

To chronicle how different practice areas have changed, along with the profession overall, we spoke with several legal leaders nationwide who were first recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® from each decade since the 1980s, as well as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America recipients from the last four editions. They revealed how they embraced change and continue to adapt and the role Best Lawyers print publications and online outlets played in their career development, brand and reputation.

What are the most significant changes in your practice area or the legal landscape you’ve experienced since entering the profession?

Adam Leitman Bailey – Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 2015 in Real Estate Law
New York, New York

When I became a real estate lawyer and litigator [in 1995], I was told that real estate moved very slowly. Since I became a Best Lawyers honoree almost a decade ago, real estate litigation could be compared to an action movie. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the courts to close and laws to be suspended, causing the most creative solutions to be devised by attorneys.

There were also prior challenges. The Great Recession in 2007 required desperate measures to keep America in business. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. found the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) and many other creative ways to help developers and bankers and borrowers to financially survive. ILSA was so effective that Congress repealed the statute when the Great Recession was over. And in 2012, we were hit with Superstorm Sandy, which caused a natural disaster to many buildings in New York where we practice, causing great tests to real estate attorneys while forcing us to plan differently for the future.

Bottom line—maybe it was because we were named to Best Lawyers, but we were sure expected to act like the best lawyers since being recognized as one in the last decade.

How naturally does contributing to Best Lawyers publications and online outlets come to you? How has it enhanced your professional and digital profiles?

Adam Leitman Bailey – Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 2015 in Real Estate Law
New York, New York

I love to write and educate, but when I am able to write and Best Lawyers publishes the article, the reader first gets to read something that I believe is important.

What advice do you have for other rising risk professionals regarding eligibility for Best Lawyers ratings and other accolades?

Adam Leitman Bailey – Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 2015 in Real Estate Law
New York, New York

Building your reputation and brand cannot be underestimated, and ignoring Best Lawyers and other reputable ranking award companies should not be an option. We lawyers have very few chances to be awarded and recognized, and Best Lawyers is one of the few platforms.

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