"Just in time for the Washington's Birthday holiday, two political scientists [Justin Vaughn and Brandon Rottinghaus] are ready to release results of a Presidential Greatness survey of presidential scholars ... Overrated ... and Kenndy, Ronald Regan ..." Jonathan Bernstein, "Kennedy and Regain Lead Overrated List," in Bloomberg View, February 13, 2015. Here is the article.
Both Kennedy and Regan were masters of public relations or reputation management. Unfortunately, many lawyers, accustomed from the get-go to be rated based on cognitive performance, not only neglect their branding.
When they have opportunities to ehance their image they also blow it by inappropriate humility or confessing to have an "Imposter Complex." Instead, they can navigate that praise by, for example, attributing the success to, say, the legal team, the resources of the law firm or the extreme fairness of the judge.
Another way lawyers undercut themselves is through what could be called The Worry Monster. Instead of allowing the full extent of their accomplishment to play out, they downsize its reach by angst about the future. They might even say dumb things such as "Sure, but let's see if I can do it again."
Kennedy and Reager, if they had that level of angst, managed to conceal it. That allowed others to project positive feelings onto these graceful characters. Currently, to rid oneself of the Worry Monster, a growing number of professionals are trying out mindfulness or meditation.
A third dumb move in reputation management is the simple lack of self-promotion. You have to do it. But you have to also do it right. It can't survive a heavy hand. For DIY public relations, observe what the high-profile winners in the legal sector do. Those range from Ted Olson to Mark Herrmann.
Overrated is the best of all image options.