Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratrings

Client Review Ratings provide comprehensive and objective information about lawyers and law firms. Client Review Ratings feature client feedback and complement our Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ program, which allows lawyers to rate and review their peers. Taken together, these two programs help buyers of legal services make informed decisions when retaining a lawyer. 

WHAT ARE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® CLIENT REVIEW RATINGS?
HOW ARE CLIENT RATINGS DETERMINED?
WHY ARE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® CLIENT REVIEW RATINGS IMPORTANT?
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN USING CLIENT REVIEW RATINGS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CONTACT THE RATINGS SUPPORT TEAM



WHAT ARE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL® CLIENT REVIEW RATINGS?

LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® has been facilitating Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ for more than 130 years. A few years ago we added client ratings. Together these ratings programs provide prospective clients with a 360-degree view of a lawyer's professional credentials.

Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings allow you to provide client feedback on a lawyer or law firm by completing a brief evaluation of a lawyer's and/or law firm's services and other professional qualities. There is no cost to participate in Client Review Ratings.

Client Review Ratings use a simple one-page survey with four main questions for you to assess communication ability, quality of service, responsiveness and value for the money on the specific matters for which you engaged the lawyer or law firm. Also included are an overall recommendation option (indicated with a "thumbs up" graphic if you would recommend the attorney), basic demographic questions about you, and the option to provide additional feedback in narrative form. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete.

Client Review Ratings provide an objective platform where clients can share their experiences working with a specific lawyer or law firm. This information assists other potential clients when deciding whether to retain a lawyer.

For many years, Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ have been viewed as an important rating in the legal industry, allowing legal professionals to provide feedback on their colleagues. The Client Review Ratings program was established to address the growing needs of buyers of legal services to have feedback from other buyers of legal services about the lawyers and firms they have retained. Both of these ratings programs complement and support the information provided by individual lawyers and law firms, and help potential clients who are evaluating lawyers and firms.

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HOW ARE CLIENT RATINGS DETERMINED?

Only after your legal issue is closed, you may be invited to submit a Client Review Rating for the lawyer or law firm that handled your matter. Reviews can be entered on martindale.com®, Lawyers.comSM, or LinkedIn®. When submitting a review, you must confirm you or your employer has been a client of the law firm or lawyer and that you are completing the review on matters which are closed.

Client Review Rating Survey

The Client Review Ratings ask you to rate a lawyer or law firm using a five-point scale system in four categories: Communication Ability, Responsiveness, Quality of Service and Value for Money. These questions speak to a lawyer's or firm's service and relationship qualities. You will also be asked to make an overall recommendation and to identify practice areas for which the lawyer or law firm was retained. Finally, you'll be given the option to offer additional feedback.

For each of the four main questions (Communication Ability, Responsiveness, Quality of Service and Value for Money), you can rate the lawyer or law firm on a scale of a one to five (with one being the lowest and five being the highest).

A lawyer or law firm's overall rating is determined by averaging the review responses. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® does not adjust the overall rating based upon any additional proprietary calculation. The rating is calculated solely from the completed, validated Client Review Ratings.

Client Review Ratings are anonymous and reviewers' identities are not published. All Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings review submissions are treated as anonymous. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® takes steps to protect your anonymity (e.g., not associating reviewer names with your responses and aggregating your responses with responses from other reviewers before sharing or publishing them), but it is possible that responses may contain sufficient information to allow the rated lawyer to identity you.

This anonymity allows client participants to provide candid assessments of their firms or lawyers. The survey will ask you for identifying information, which will be kept confidential unless required to be disclosed pursuant to a valid court order or subpoena.

Beginning in Fall 2011, all lawyers and law firms who receive client feedback in a Client Review Rating may respond to that feedback with a one-time comment. Also starting in Fall 2011, lawyers and law firms can suppress all of their client ratings or feedback. Firms and lawyers can no longer suppress or publish only selective ratings or comments. If the client rating is suppressed, language will be added to the lawyer's profile that states "Ratings not Shown". Once ratings are suppressed by request, they will be suppressed for a minimum of two years.

The site is not law firm advertising and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® is not acting as agent for any lawyer or law firm in providing this forum or facilitating the sharing of any information. Each lawyer/law firm must decide for itself how it wishes to use any Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings information and, as stated in the terms of use, each lawyer/law firm is wholly responsible for ensuring that any use it makes of Martindale-Hubbell® or of data found in Martindale-Hubbell® data base is compliant with the ethics rules affecting that lawyer/law firm.

Martindale-Hubbell® subscribers can also select two client feedback entries and position them at the top of their ratings tab. There is no cost to complete a Client Review, nor is there compensation for completing a review. In addition, lawyers and law firms do not pay for Client Review Ratings to appear on their profiles.

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WHY ARE CLIENT REVIEW RATINGS IMPORTANT?

Benefits to Clients

If you are a recent client of a law firm and/or lawyer, completing a Client Review Rating about your experience will help others who are researching and selecting an attorney. This input, along with that from other clients, helps build a robust database of Client Review Ratings, so all users of Client Review Ratings will be better informed when they hire a lawyer.

By reviewing Client Review Ratings data, you can leverage the first-hand experiences of other clients when deciding which lawyer or law firm to hire. Client Review Ratings data will allow you to make more confident hiring decisions, particularly when combined with Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings® and law firm/lawyer profile data.

Effective in Fall 2011, ratings and feedback are now displayed for all lawyers and law firms, regardless of whether they are Martindale-Hubbell® subscribers. This change reflects the growing importance of Client Review Ratings as an objective tool in the decision-making process for buyers of legal services.

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THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN USING CLIENT REVIEW RATINGS

Lawyers can market their Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings by promoting those ratings on their own websites. When doing so, lawyers are required to include the following information with their Client Review Rating:

"Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Rated Lawyer of Preeminent ___ out of 5 [insert (Preeminent or Distinguished if appropriate) and current numeric rating] as of __' 201-- [insert date of latest review published on martindale.com and Lawyers.comSM]."

For lawyers with both a Peer Review Rating and Client Review Rating, the following phrase should always be used with their Client Review Rating on all appropriate marketing materials:

"Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Rated Lawyer of Preeminent ___out of 5 [insert (Preeminent or Distinguished if appropriate) and current numeric rating] as of _____ 201__ [insert date of latest review published on martindale.com and Lawyers.comSM]."

Client Review Rated Lawyers and Law Firms may use a Client Review Rating in a manner that is consistent and compliant with the rules and regulations governing lawyer advertising in the state/commonwealth/jurisdiction in which the Client Review Rating is to be used. It is the sole obligation of the Client Review Rated Lawyer /Law Firm to ensure that their chosen usage complies with the applicable rules and regulations.

Lawyer ethics rules, including lawyer advertising rules, in the U.S, are complex. While states have generally based their rules on the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, many states have adopted additional rules and exceptions. The result is that ethics rules and associated ethics opinions vary widely from one state to another. Lawyers and firms must ensure their own compliance with the various ethics rules and opinions that might be applicable to particular circumstances, including participation in Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review.

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® does not provide Client Review Rating for all firms and lawyers. Therefore, the fact that a firm or lawyer has not been reviewed should not be construed as unfavorable. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® accepts no responsibility for and will not be liable for the content and accuracy of the individual reviews and the aggregated reviews.
No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed by any lawyer or law firm is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. No ratings constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of any legal matter. Any result a lawyer or law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one matter does not indicate that a similar result can be obtained for another client. Past performance cannot be an assurance of future results as each matter must be decided on its own merits.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Can reviews be completed on individual lawyers as well as firms?

A: Yes. Reviews can be submitted for both lawyers and for law firms.

Q: Can my lawyer nominate me to participate in the review process?

A: Yes, lawyers and law firm can submit client nominations via our online Client Service Center. Firms must nominate at least five client references before surveys will be sent.

Q: How are clients identified to perform a Client Review? 

A: Clients can be identified in several different ways. Buyers of legal services can be nominated by one of their law firms as a current or former client with specific experience with the law firm; a client can choose to access Client Review via a link beside each lawyer or firm profile on martindale.com®, Lawyers.comSM or via LinkedIn®. The variety of Client Review identification points helps to facilitate a representative sample of respondents. When completing a Client Review, you must affirm you are a client of the lawyer or firm identified for review. You can submit only one review for a specific lawyer or law firm within a 12-month period.

Q: I received an e-mail inviting me to participate in a Client Review. What is this?

A: The e-mail you received invites you to participate in the LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review process. By participating and sharing your knowledge of the law firm or lawyer under review, you will be providing an invaluable service to buyers of legal services who may consider hiring that firm or lawyer.

Q: Does Martindale-Hubbell® verify that the clients are legitimate?

A: LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® cannot confirm the lawyer-client relationship, which in many cases is confidential; therefore clients must affirm they are a client of the subject lawyer or firm at the time of the completed Client Review. We do not review the substance of the comment, and have no ability to verify the truth or accuracy of any posted comment.

Q: Can I rate a lawyer who is my relative?

A: No. In situations where you are a family member (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, in-law, cousin, aunt, uncle) of the lawyer under review, that could present a conflict of interest and affect the objectivity of the ratings.

Q: Do law firms and lawyers have the option of viewing Client Review Ratings before they are published on LexisNexis® online sites?

A: No. All client reviews are posted automatically. The lawyer has a one-time opportunity to respond to any Client Review Rating comment. In addition, the lawyer has the option of suppressing a Client Review Ratings, but if that is done, all of that lawyer's reviews are removed from display and they will be suppressed for a minimum of two years.

Q: What if Client Reviews are not published for a specific firm or lawyer?

A: LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® does not undertake to develop Client Reviews for all firms and lawyers. Therefore, the fact that a firm or lawyer has no reviews published should not be construed as unfavorable.

Q: How current are the Client Reviews that are published?

A: Client Reviews that are over 24 months old will be archived.

Q: I was sent a survey link by my lawyer or law firm and I'd like to review other firms not included on the survey questionnaire. How do I do that?

A: The survey link includes the option to add law firms or lawyers for you to review. Provided the law firm or lawyer is confirmed as valid, a review can be completed.

Q: Can I forward my invitation to another person?

A: Yes, if you are answering the review in a professional capacity, Client Reviews can be forwarded to a colleague within your organization who may be in a better position to complete the Client Review. Once contact details are confirmed, that person's review will be included in the ratings process.

Q: What is the scope of a Client Review?

A: Client Reviews can be conducted worldwide for firms and lawyers.

Q: I had to close the Client Review survey before finishing and when I returned to the survey via the e-mail link I found that my responses do not appear. What happened?

A: Responses are only saved to the system when the "submit" button is clicked. If you did not click the submit button before the survey window closed, the responses on that page would have been lost.

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CONTACT THE RATINGS SUPPORT TEAM

Contact the Ratings Support Team
Questions about Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings Services can be sent by e-mail to ratings@martindale.com.

Or by mail to:
Martindale-Hubbell® Ratings
LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell®
121 Chanlon Road
New Providence, NJ 07974

LexisNexis, the Knowledge Burst logo, Martindale-Hubbell® and martindale.com are registered trademarks, Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ is a trademark and Lawyers.comSM is a service mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under license. AV, BV and CV are registered certification marks and AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc. Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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