In March 2013, San Diego Magazine recognized Dan as one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego in the field of appellate law. The honor resulted from anonymous polling of Dan's peers in the San Diego Bar.
Mr. Lawton and his teammates in the J. Clifford Wallace Inns of Court won a national award from the American Inns of Court for Outstanding Program in 2010 for their presentation of  “Issues in Evidence — The Musical!”
Not Just the "Usual Suspects" Super Lawyers goes beyond big firms and finds great lawyers from small and midsize firms. (Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, January/February 2010).
Dan Lawton was honored in June 2009 as a "SuperLawyer," an honor based on 12 criteria of anonymous peer recognition and professional achievement. These criteria include verdicts, settlements, representative clients, experience, honors and awards, special licenses and certifications, pro bono and community service, scholarly lectures and writings, education and employment background, and other outstanding achievements. He was so honored again in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
In 1997, two years after opening his own practice, Mr. Lawton earned an “A/V” rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
  In 1992, 1995, and 2001, Mr. Lawton earned the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions of legal services to pro bono client Kevin Artt, an Irish refugee resisting extradition and deportation. See Mr. Lawton's interview concerning the Artt case here.  
Mr. Lawton also has earned multiple Wiley W. Manuel awards for community service from the State Bar of California for pro bono work on behalf of indigent refugees (including Mr. Artt) fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in the United States.