The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ help buyers of legal services identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for a specific task at hand. Lawyer ratings serve as an objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability and are used by buyers of legal services to justify their hiring decisions. Combined with the Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings, self-reported professional credentials and other fact-based performance data, the Peer Review Ratings contribute to the comprehensive view of a lawyer.
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What Are The 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.
LexisNexis 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.com, on the LexisNexis services, on LexisNexis 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.
Areas of Practice - LexisNexis uses a specific practice area list in the review process to help ensure that all lawyers are rated upon equivalent practice areas, regardless of how individual lawyers choose to articulate their area of expertise. This allows users of ratings to compare and contrast lawyers with a specific area of practice. The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings™ area of practice list is based on user behavior, research on emerging areas of law, and other forms of legal research. LexisNexis updates the list regularly to reflect the changing needs of the legal industry.
Feedback and Comments
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings allow reviewers to provide feedback on the lawyer under review. Feedback is displayed anonymously in conjunction with the review results. Lawyers are allowed to place a one-time comment next to any of the feedback. Martindale-Hubbell subscribers are able to highlight two peer feedback comments and position them at the top of their ratings display. Peer Review feedback will be archived after two years.