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WHAT ARE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™?
The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. The first review to establish a lawyer’s rating usually occurs three years after his/her first admission to the bar.
Martindale-Hubbell facilitates secure online Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings surveys of lawyers across multiple jurisdictions and geographic locations, in similar areas of practice as the lawyer being rated. Reviewers are asked to assess their colleagues’ general ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice. The ratings appear in all formats of the Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory, in the online listings on martindale.com®, Lawyers.comSM, on the Martindale-Hubbell services, on Martindale-Hubbell mobile apps.
The Ratings Explanation
Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ reflect a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. A threshold number of responses is required to achieve a rating.
The General Ethical Standards rating denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities. Those lawyers who meet the “Very High” criteria of General Ethical Standards can proceed to the next step in the ratings process – Legal Ability.
Legal Ability ratings are based on performance in five key areas, rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). These areas are:
- Legal Knowledge – Lawyer’s familiarity with the laws governing his/her specific area of practice(s)
- Analytical Capabilities – Lawyer’s creativity in analyzing legal issues and applying technical knowledge
- Judgment – Lawyer’s demonstration of the salient factors that drive the outcome of a given case or issue
- Communication Ability – Lawyer’s capability to communicate persuasively and credibly
- Legal Experience – Lawyer’s degree of experience in his/her specific area of practice(s)
The numeric ratings range may coincide with the appropriate Certification Mark:
- AV Preeminent® (4.5-5.0) – AV Preeminent® is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.
- BV Distinguished® (3.0-4.4) – BV Distinguished® is an excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience. A widely respected mark of achievement, it differentiates a lawyer from his or her competition.
- Rated (1.0-2.9) – The Peer Review Rated designation demonstrates that the lawyer has met the very high criteria of General Ethical Standing.
Photos and video by Sam Hall.