An Explanation of the Changed Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings reflect a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. For lawyers rated with the changed methodology the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings will reflect the following:

General Ethical Standards 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 Ratings

For lawyers rated with the changed methodology, Legal Ability ratings will now indicate professional ability within a specific area of practice. 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)

Additional Feedback

The changed Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings allow reviewers to provide optional Additional Feedback on the lawyer under review. Additional Feedback is displayed anonymously in conjunction with the review results to the lawyer under review, as explained in more detail in the Methodology section under Anonymity. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell reserves the right, in its sole, unrestricted discretion, not to display or otherwise use any feedback, in whole or in part.

Reviewer Demographics

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are anonymous and reviewers' identities are not published, but in an effort to provide more details to the users of Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell will aggregate reviewers' basic demographics, including general position and general geographic location, which may be published with the ratings display on® and Lawyers.comSM. Examples of basic demographics are "private practice lawyer, senior partner, New York, USA."

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Areas of Practice

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell uses a specific practice area list in the review process to 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 rating to compare and contrast lawyers with a specific area of practice. The LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell area of practice list is based on user behavior, research on emerging areas of law, and other forms of legal research. LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell updates the list regularly to reflect the changing needs of the legal industry.

Example Survey

Example online survey of the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings questions

Peer Review Ratings Explained 2

Copyright 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

After a lawyer's General Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Ratings are confirmed, his/her ratings are aggregated to create an overall numeric rating for each rated Area of Practice. The numeric rating determines the Peer Review Rating, which includes a rating term and may include a Certification Mark:

  • AV® Preeminent™ (4.5-5.0) - An AV® certification mark 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) - The BV® certification mark 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.

Sample display of a Peer Review Rating for lawyers newly rated in the changed methodology:

Peer Review Ratings Explained 3

Copyright 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

For lawyers rated in the existing program, the display will appear differently than those reviewed in the changed methodology. Because the lawyers converted to the new display have yet to be re-reviewed in the changed system, there will not be the depth of detail available on their Legal Ability Rating, Area of Practice specificity, Additional Feedback or Reviewer's Demographic data. Their display will be as follows:

Sample Display of a Peer Review Rating for existing rated lawyers converted to the changed methodology

Peer Review Ratings Explained

Copyright 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Tagged as: Martindale-Hubbell, Peer Review Ratings, Explanation, Changes, Ethics, Ability, Attorney, Lawyer, Legal Articles,

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