It’s nice to win awards. But it’s even better to be part of a firm that is committed to the tough and rewarding work required to earn them. While we’ve been fortunate to receive positive notice, our clients and employees are the true beneficiaries of our efforts.

Selected accolades by type

Diversity | Legal Practice Excellence
Pro Bono and Community Leadership | Workplace Excellence


Carlton Fields is a Top 15 law firm (No. 11 overall) on the 2016 American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard.

For the seventh consecutive year, Carlton Fields received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates businesses according to their treatment of LGBT employees, consumers, and investors.

In 2015, Carlton Fields was ranked 2nd for "The Top 25 Best Law Firms for Hispanic Attorneys," 10th in American Lawyer’s “Top 10 Firms with the Highest Percentage of Minority Partners,” 14th for "The 100 Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys," 16th for "The Top 25 Best Law Firms for Black Attorneys" and 33rd for "The 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys" by Law360 in its first-ever series on racial diversity in the United States legal industry.

In 2016, Carlton Fields' Shareholder and Chief Diversity Officer Nancy Faggianelli received the Multicultural Leadership Award from Florida Diversity Council, an organization devoted to diversity thought leadership. The award recognizes individuals who have made a difference through their achievements and exemplify the ability to excel in their field, demonstrate leadership in the community and exhibit a commitment to the highest ethical standards and professional excellence. In 2014, the Council honored Nancy with its LGBT-Allies Leader Award, which recognizes champions in helping others to understand the importance of equality, acceptance and mutual respect towards the LGBT community, including individuals who have made a significant difference by actively working to educate others, support LGBT equal rights legislation and foster mutual respect in the workplace and the community.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal named Carlton Fields and the firm’s Chief Operating Officer Anastasia “Annie” Hiotis as a business leader and “outstanding voice,” respectively, for its inaugural Business of Pride Awards in 2016. The  awards recognize local companies and individuals who are working to advance LGBT equality in the workplace.

For eight years, the Vault Guide to the Top Law Firms ranked Carlton Fields as a top firm in the nation for Diversity. Reflective of the firm’s commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace, Carlton Fields ranked 5th among U.S. firms for "Overall Diversity," 3rd in "Diversity for Disability," and 4th in "Disability for Minorities" in Vault’s annual survey of nearly 17,000 law firm associates. Additionally, the firm ranked in the top 10 in the categories "Diversity-LGBT" and “Diversity-Veterans.” The firm also ranked 14th in the category “Diversity for Women.” Vault provides inside information on careers with thousands of companies in dozens of industries. The annual law guide is known as the definitive career guide for today’s generation of law students and lawyers.

In 2011, Equality Florida presented Carlton Fields with its inaugural Corporate Voice of Equality Award, which recognizes area businesses that are making a difference in promoting workplace diversity. In 2014, the firm was honored with the Equality Means Business award for its outstanding partnership with Equality Florida and contributions to achieving LGBT equality, including its role in the landmark lawsuit to overturn Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage and the creation of the Legal Handbook for LGBT Floridians and Their Families.

Carlton Fields appeared on MultiCultural Law’s 2012 Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity list. The ranking is based on a survey, completed by 200 firms nationally, that looks at minority and women shareholders and associates as a percent of the total number of attorneys.

Legal Practice Excellence 

Carlton Fields was recognized by corporate counsel as a client service leader in the 14th Annual BTI Client Service A-Team 2015 report. This is the only law firm ranking that identifies top law firms for client service through a national survey of corporate counsel. The report is based on feedback from nearly 320 corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 and large organizations. The interviews revealed that Carlton Fields is in the top 20 percent for delivering better client service to the world’s largest clients.

Learn more about the BTI Client Service A-Team. 

For the second consecutive year, Carlton Fields was named one of the Top 10 “Best of the Best Client Service Strategist” in the Client Service Strategist category (the top 2% of this category). Overall, corporate counsel ranked the firm in the top 25 percent in the 2016 BTI Brand Elite.

Learn more about the BTI Brand Elite.

Corporate counsel ranked Carlton Fields in the top 5 percent of all law firms for Complex Employment Litigation in the BTI Litigation Outlook 2016 report. The firm was also named to the “Honor Roll” for its work in the area of Class Actions and Torts. 

Learn more about the BTI Litigation Outlook. 

In 2016, 12 practice areas and 35 attorneys were recognized by Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers. The following firm practices received first-tier rankings:

  • Construction (for the 14th consecutive year)
  • Insurance (for the 12th consecutive year)
  • White Collar Crime & Government Investigations (for the 9th time)

Carlton Fields was chosen as a “Go-To Law Firm” in the areas of Litigation and Labor & Employment by firm clients in a recent survey of the Top 500 U.S. companies conducted by Corporate Counsel magazine. The firms selected by Corporate Counsel make up less than one-half of one percent of the world’s law firms.

More than 200 Carlton Fields attorneys have received the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a lawyer peer review rating system that evaluates lawyers and law firms in the U.S. and Canada for ethical standards and legal ability.

The firm ranks #132 in the 2016 AmLaw 200, and #121 in the 2016 NLJ 500.

Carlton Fields made The National Law Journal’s inaugural “Midsize Hotlist” in 2009. The list recognized the 20 best midsized U.S. law firms (50-300 attorneys). The National Law Journal chose firms that demonstrated “creative, innovative strategies to stay competitive.” The firms applied those strategies to recruit and retain top talent, develop practice areas, manage operations, and position themselves for success in the face of economic challenges. 

Pro Bono and Community Leadership

In 2016, Shareholder Sylvia Walbolt will receive the John Paul Stevens Guiding Hand of Counsel Award from the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project for her commitment to providing pro bono counsel for individuals facing death sentences. Shareholder Kathleen McLeroy was selected to receive The Florida Bar Foundation's Medal of Honor Award, the Foundation's highest honor, for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of pro bono clients. Shareholder Roland "Rollie" Goss was awarded the D.C. Bar's Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award for his pro bono contributions spanning two decades. Shareholder Jason Kairalla received the 2016 Lawyers for Children America, Inc. John Edward Smith Child Advocacy Award for his outstanding work with children.

In 2016, Shareholder Frank J. Cerza was honored by VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired for his pro bono commitment - dedicating more than 100 hours of legal services to assist VISIONS in securing the necessary land use approvals for the construction of a new vocational rehabilitation center at VISIONS Center on Blindness (VCB).

In 2013, The Board of Directors of Florida Legal Services, Inc. passed a resolution honoring our firm's late Chair Emeritus, Wm. Reece Smith, Jr., a founder of Florida Legal Services, for his leadership and advocacy for equal justice.

Carlton Fields received the 2011 John Edward Smith Outstanding Law Firm annual award from Lawyers for Children America, Inc. (LFCA). Our attorneys provide pro bono services to LFCA’s minor clients, and the firm sponsors LFCA training programs that help recruit and train attorneys to do the same.

Carlton Fields was honored with the 2011 Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono Service Award for outstanding pro bono service to the poor in Hillsborough County.

South Florida Business Journal awarded Carlton Fields the 2006 Business of the Year Award in the category of Legal Services over $25 million. The award is presented to a business that demonstrates concern for its employees, community involvement, and economic growth.

Carlton Fields received the 2003 Chief Justice Law Firm Commendation Award from the Florida Supreme Court in recognition of its significant pro bono services contributions to individuals and groups.

In 2002, President Bush honored Carlton Fields for its work with the Miami Law Project, which helps former welfare recipients receive employment training and experience for law firm staff positions.

In 1995, we received the National Public Service Award from the ABA’s Business Law Section in recognition of our significant pro bono legal services to the poor.

Workplace Excellence 

In 2011, Carlton Fields was named one of Tampa Bay’s Top Work Places by the St. Petersburg Times.

In 2010, Carlton Fields ranked 29th nationally in The American Lawyer’s Mid-Level Associate Survey. Rankings are based on surveys of mid-level associates in 180 top U.S. firms.

In 2009, Florida Trend magazine named Carlton Fields one of the Best Companies to Work For in Florida. The firm ranked No. 13 in the large company category. As part of the selection process, Florida Trend surveyed companies and their employees on workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. Factors considered included employee training, communication, and pay and benefits.