Clay Dugas Earns National Association of Distinguished Counsel Award

Distinguished Counsel Award

We are pleased to announce that Clay Dugas recently marked another career high point by earning the prestigious National Association of Distinguished Counsel award. This award’s rigorous screening processing and the standards of excellence that it represents make it one of the most respected awards in the legal profession. Fewer than 1% of practicing attorneys have earned this distinction and Clay is honored to be among their select number.


The National Association of Distinguished Counsel (NADC) is a professional organization of attorneys throughout the country who are focused on promoting and recognizing the highest standards of legal excellence. They seek to select only an elite few who by virtue of their tireless dedication to the legal profession and their numerous career achievements are able to serve as a model for other lawyers to emulate. By the very nature of the award only the nation’s top attorneys are eligible and fewer than 1% of practicing attorneys receiving it.


Because the award represents the pinnacle of achievement in the legal profession NADC uses a very rigorous, multi-stage selection process that is designed to be as objective and thorough as possible. All attorneys selected must be approved at each of the four stages. The four stages are:

Stage 1: Nomination – In stage one candidates are nominated for the award. Nomination may occur in one of a few different ways. Candidates may be nominated by NADC’s own research team or they may receive nominations from other NADC members, peers, or clients.

Stage 2: Vetting – During the vetting stage all prospective candidates nominated in stage one are thoroughly evaluated by NADC researchers. Researchers scour all public details of the prospective candidates’ practices. Including:

  • Client reviews
  • Peer endorsements
  • Case results
  • Trial experience
  • Firm profile
  • Firm reputation
  • Professional memberships
  • Leadership roles in legal organizations
  • Noteworthy achievements and professional awards
  • Disciplinary status
  • Training
  • Education
  • Community involvement
  • Years of practice

Stage 3: Attorney Review Panel – In stage three of the selection process the data gathered in stage two by the research team is then passed to a blue ribbon panel of attorneys. Each of the attorneys on the panel has achieved professional excellence and elite status in their own right and each is capable of carefully reviewing the data to ensure that the potential candidate being considered possesses all of the qualities necessary to serve as a peer model in the industry.

Stage 4: Judicial Review – In the fourth and final stage of the selection process a judicial review board led by former judges makes the final evaluation of the candidates. Judges are uniquely situated to evaluate attorney conduct and to ensure that each candidate truly epitomizes the ideals of the legal profession. They ensure that all candidates exhibit the best qualities of an Officer of the Court and that all have demonstrated time and again an admirable character and professional virtue while practicing the law.


Inclusion into the illustrious small group of attorneys who have earned recognition from the National Association of Distinguished Counsel is a major honor. However, as always Clay is focused first and foremost on helping his clients and ensuring that they receive the justice they deserve. It is undoubtedly this commitment that first drew the attention of NADC and all clients can rest assured that they will receive top-level legal care and be treated as a priority.

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