Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ have been in existence for over 140 years. They provide a way for attorneys to be rated by their peers on their legal and ethical ability. Our peer review ratings are the gold standard in attorney ratings. Attorneys looking to refer a client, as well as individuals researching lawyers for their own legal needs, use these ratings to identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for their legal issue. A peer review rating contributes to the comprehensive view of a lawyer and benefits the entire legal community.

What is a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™?

Attorneys who receive a minimum number of qualifying reviews from their colleagues qualify for one of the three prestigious ratings:

AV Preeminent®: The highest level of peer rating. This rating signifies that the lawyer’s peers rank them at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.

Distinguished: An excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience. Distinguished indicates the attorney is widely respected by their peers for high professional achievement and ethical standards.

Notable: This rating confirms that the lawyer has been recognized by their peers for strong ethical standards.

The Peer Review Ratings Process

Martindale-Hubbell facilitates the awarding of a peer review rating. We contact an attorney’s references as well as other lawyers in the same geography and practice area/s to ask them to provide feedback on the attorney’s ethical standards. All attorneys must have their ethical standards confirmed by their peers before any award can be given.

We also ask the reviewer to rate the attorney in five categories: Legal Knowledge, Analytical Capabilities, Judgment, Communication Ability and Legal Experience. Written feedback can also be provided as part of the review.

Individual peer reviews are posted on the attorney’s profile on Martindale.com and Lawyers.com within 24 hours of submission by the reference. When a minimum threshold of reviews are received, Martindale calculates the rating score and notifies the attorney of their award.

Three steps to get a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™

If you would like to receive a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ or would like to enhance your current Martindale rating, follow these basic steps to follow to make the process go smoothly:

  1. Access the Peer Reference Nomination Tool to send your requests.
  2. Compile and submit your peer references list. Be sure to have at least 18.
  3. Reach out to your peer references to let them know in advance.

Accessing the Peer Reference Nomination Tool

This tool will allow you to compile and submit your peer references so we can email them the questionnaire to rate you.

Contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or [email protected] to request to be peer rated. We will need the following information from you:

  • Name
  • Firm name
  • Email address
  • Martindale-Hubbell subscription status. You do not need to be a subscriber to be peer review rated.

Compiling & Submitting Your Peer References List

Once you receive the link to the Peer Reference Nomination Tool, it’s time to start compiling that list of peer references. The minimum number is 18, but it’s a good idea to have about 20-25 (or more) attorneys or judges familiar with your legal ability in mind that you would like to nominate because we may not hear back from all of them. Please also keep in mind that judges may not be selected as peer references in 4 states: CT, GA, NJ and SC.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you search for your references’  names in the tool:

RULE #1 – It’s all about being LISTED (on Martindale.com, that is!)

As you search for each peer reference, there may be some who do not appear in search results. Peer references need to be listed on Martindale.com – otherwise you will not be able to add them to your list and therefore they cannot rate you. If someone does not appear in search results, go to Martindale.com to see if they display their name differently on our website (John Smith vs. J. William Smith, for example).

Attorneys who are not listed on Martindale.com but would like to be can submit their information here: Submit a Basic Profile

RULE #2 – It’s all about the email address (in our database, that is!)

As you search for each peer reference, some names may appear but you will not be able to add them to your list. In most circumstances, the reason is because they do not have an email address in our database. Each peer reference needs to have a current email address with us so we can contact them. Otherwise, you will not be able to add them to your peer reference list and therefore they cannot rate you.

We take steps to ensure our database is as current as possible. We work with state bars across the country to keep our records up to date. But it always starts with the attorney – if he or she gets a new email address (i.e. changes firm, uses a new email service provider) we need to know about it ASAP. If one or more of your peer references doesn’t have an email address in our database, there are some steps you can take to get them on your list:

  1. If their email address is publicly displayed on the internet somewhere (i.e. law firm website, bar association website), then email us at [email protected] with the name and the exact website location (John Doe: www.lawfirmwebsite.com/johndoe). We’ll update our database and, once updated, you can then add them to your peer reference list.
  2. Have the attorney/judge call 800-526-4902 or email us at [email protected] with their email address. Once we have it updated in our database, you can then add their name to your list

So now you have your 18+ peer references compiled. Submit them and voila! You’re almost done!

Reaching out to Your Peer References

Our research shows that attorneys are much more likely to obtain a Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating™ if they reach out to their references after they submit their list. Tell them that they should be getting an email message from Martindale and could they please take a few moments to rate you.

This accomplishes several things:

  • Gives them a heads up to expect the email from us
  • They will know it is a legitimate email message and won’t delete it
  • If they don’t see the email in a couple of days, they should check their Spam/Junk folders
  • If they still don’t see the email, they can call or email us to resend it – this is especially wise if it’s possible we could have an old or incorrect email address.

Now what should I do?

Now just sit back and wait. We allow at least two weeks to give your references an opportunity to respond. After that time we’ll contact you with status updates as appropriate, either with the results of your review or providing you the opportunity to submit additional names.

As always, contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or [email protected] with any questions. To learn more details about Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™, including user guidelines and methodology, visit martindale.com/ratings.

*Attorneys whose firms subscribe to Martindale-Hubbell have access to the Client Service Center (CSC) that allows attorneys to use this tool to start their Peer Rating. Attorneys with firms that do not have a current Martindale-Hubbell subscription, will be emailed the Peer Reference Nomination Tool.