The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM help you, the consumer of legal services, identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for your legal issue. Peer Review RatingsTM identify lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability. The ratings can be a useful aid when hiring an attorney. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM benefit the entire legal community, from buyers and referrers of legal services to the lawyers and law firms whose ratings are published.
The Martindale-Hubbell® RATINGSPeer Review RatingsTM are an objective indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability. Attorneys receive a Peer Review RatingsTM based on evaluations by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM 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 means the attorney adheres to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to practicing law. Those lawyers who are judged to have "Very High" 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 one to five (with one being the lowest and five being the highest). These areas are:
- Legal Knowledge - Lawyer's familiarity with the laws in his or 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 or her specific area of practice(s)
After lawyers have been evaluated on their legal ability, they will receive one of three ratings:
- 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 the lawyer has met the Very High criteria of General Ethical Standing.
No subscription or listing on Martindale - Hubbell is ever solicited or accepted on the promise of publication of a particular Peer Review Rating. No preferential consideration is ever given to any lawyer or law firm. There is never any payment made to lawyers and judges who participate in rating reviews. The process is a cooperative service with the bar and the judiciary.