FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about Peer Review Ratings. The links at the top will take you directly to questions related to that particular topic.


Ratings Basics
Acquiring Reviews/Starting the Peer Review Ratings Process
Existing Ratings/Reviews
Ratings Basics

What are the different ratings?*
Ratings are based on an average of the scores provided by peer reviewers, as follows:
  • AV Preeminent®: The highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that the lawyer's reviewed peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
  • Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM: An excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience. This rating indicates the attorney is widely respected by their reviewed peers for high professional achievement and ethical standards.
  • Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM:This rating indicates that the lawyer has been recognized by a large number of their reviewed peers for strong ethical standards.
Peer reviewed attorneys have received reviews from their peers, but not yet achieved the necessary number of qualified reviews to establish a rating.

*A rating is awarded if a lawyer receives a minimum threshold of qualifying responses within a defined time period. Specific ratings are awarded based on average scores from peer reviewers across multiple legal capability and ethical standing criteria.

What questions are asked in the peer review?
Peer references are asked to select a practice area in which to rate an attorney and provide information regarding the following in the review survey:
  • Provide information regarding the attorney's ethical standards.
  • Rate the attorney's performance on a 1-5 scale (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest score) in five areas: Legal Knowledge, Analytical Capabilities, Judgment, Communication Ability and Legal Experience.
  • Provide any additional written feedback (not required).

Peer reviewers also are required to provide general identifying information about themselves and affirm the review provided.

Can a law firm have a rating or reviews?
Law firms are not rated and cannot receive a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating or peer reviews. Lawyers.comSM and martindale.com® display an average rating of the rated attorneys in a firm, but these are not considered a firm rating.

How does Martindale-Hubbell contact peer references?
We send surveys via email to peer references. If references do not respond, we send reminder email notifications at regular intervals.

How are the peer review ratings generated?
Martindale-Hubbell facilitates the peer review process by gathering responses, validating their submission, and aggregating results for display online. The content of the responses is entirely from reviewers ‚?? the peers of the lawyer. Reviewers must affirm that they are a peer of the lawyer identified for review. A rating is awarded if a lawyer receives a minimum threshold of qualified responses within a defined time period.

I do not want to be reviewed or receive surveys to review others. How do I opt out?
Contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com. If you opt out of Peer Review Ratings, you will not be a subject of a future Martindale-Hubbell peer review or receive email requests to rate peers unless you opt back in. If you are a current reference when you opt out, you will continue to receive email notifications about that survey.

What does it mean if a lawyer is not rated?
Some lawyers request not to have any rating or reviews published, while others may not be rated or reviewed due to the length of time in practice, the size of the bar, or other reasons unrelated to their legal abilities or ethical standards, such as a legal practice that involves few peers. Lawyers also undergo periodic rating reviews during their career. The absence of a rating or reviews should not be construed as unfavorable.

Acquiring Reviews/Starting the Peer Review Ratings Process
How do I get reviews?
You may nominate peer references to initiate the peer review process. Martindale-Hubbell subscribing lawyers may go to the Client Service Center to submit references. All other lawyers may request a review by contacting our Customer Support team at ratings@martindale.com. You do not need to have a paid subscription in order to have peer reviews published, but must be admitted to the bar for at least three years and have a profile on martindale.com®. An email address is also required for administrative purposes.

How do I get rated?
A rating is awarded if a lawyer receives a minimum threshold of qualified peer review responses within a defined time period.

Does Martindale-Hubbell initiate reviews on attorneys?
Yes, we randomly select attorneys as subjects of reviews. The references used to rate an attorney in these reviews are randomly selected based on location and practice areas.

Certain peers appear in the search results but cannot be added as a reference. How do I add them?
An attorney who has not supplied us with an email address may appear in martindale.com or Lawyers.com search results, but cannot be added as a peer reference. There are two ways to request their eligibility:
  • Ask your potential reference to supply an email address to our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com. We can update our records so he or she can be selected as a reference.
  • Our customer support team can provide you with a spreadsheet you can use to supply email addresses. (To be eligible, email addresses must display publicly online ‚?? on a firm website, state bar website, etc.).
Can I add more names after submitting my references?
Once you submit your references, the peer review process starts and you cannot change your references. Depending upon the status of the review, you may be offered the option to submit additional names for us to contact.

How long does the review take?
Starting two weeks after an attorney submits references, we will begin to publish the reviews that we have received from peer references. A rating would not be awarded until we have received responses from a minimum threshold number of attorneys within a defined time period.

The length of time to establish a rating is contingent upon the rate at which we receive responses. Once we start publishing the peer reviews, we begin to monitor the responses to see if the required number of qualified responses has been received. At that point, or any time thereafter, when the threshold number of qualified responses is received, we will notify the attorney of the rating that has been awarded.

I want to make sure my references respond. Can you tell me who has or has not answered the survey?
We recommend attorneys contact their references after submitting names to us so the peers are engaged and looking for the survey email. However, the peer review process is confidential and we cannot disclose who has or has not responded to a survey.

Some of my references have told me they have not received the survey. Can you resend it?
At regular intervals, we resend surveys to references who have not responded. If a reference has not received the survey, we first suggest a check of his or her email spam or junk folder. If the survey email is not there, please ask the reference to contact our Customer Support team directly at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com.

Existing Ratings/Reviews
I have a rating, how can I get an icon for my website or email signature?
Firms with a paid subscription to Martindale-Hubbell and the Martindale-Hubbell®; Peer Review RatingsTM Toolkit can access ratings icons in the Toolkit via the Client Service Center. To add the Toolkit to a Martindale-Hubbell subscription, contact your sales representative or our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902  or ratings@martindale.com. Attorneys who do not have a paid subscription but would like access to the Toolkit can contact our authorized vendor, American Registry, at 866-964-0866.

I have peer reviews posted on my listing but I don't have a rating. Why not?
In the past, peer reviews were published only when an attorney received a rating. Beginning in 2016, we publish peer reviews as we receive them. Peer reviews from prior years also now display on the site. If a lawyer did not achieve the minimum threshold of qualified peer reviews required to achieve a rating then only the peer reviews will display. To start the process of getting a rating, see the Acquiring Reviews/Starting the Peer Review Ratings Process section of this FAQ.

I think one of the reviewers made a mistake in filling out the survey. How do I fix it?
Contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com and we can reach out to the person who completed the survey and correct any mistakes.

I made a mistake when submitting a survey, how do I correct it?
Contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com with the name of the attorney you rated and the scores and/or feedback you wished to provide. With this information, we can update our records.

How are the practice areas that display with my rating selected?
The practice areas that display with your rating are the top three most commonly selected by the reviewers who submitted surveys for you. Attorneys themselves do not have the option of editing or removing these practice areas. If there is a practice area displayed in which you do not practice, contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com.

Can attorneys review/approve their written feedback before it is displayed?
Your peer reviews will be published after the notification email with the results of the review is sent to you. However, you do not have the option to approve the peer reviews or any particular written feedback.

I do not want to be reviewed or receive surveys to review others. How do I opt out?
Contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com. If you opt out of Peer Review Ratings, you will not be a subject of a future Martindale-Hubbell peer review or receive email requests to rate peers unless you opt back in. If you are a current reference when you opt out, you will continue to receive email notifications about that survey.

Can I remove a rating - or part of a rating - I don't agree with?
You cannot choose which written feedback displays as part of your rating. If there is feedback you are concerned with, contact our Customer Support team at 800-526-4902 or ratings@martindale.com. We may remove inappropriate comments in accordance with our policies.

You do have the option of providing a written response to any feedback displayed as part of your rating. Attorneys with paid subscriptions can also choose up to two pieces of written feedback to highlight; highlighted feedback will appear at the top of the list.

You also have the option of suppressing your rating. If a rating is suppressed, the score and written feedback are removed and replaced with ‚?ĚRatings not Shown.‚?Ě To suppress a review, send a written request to our Customer Support team at ratings@martindale.com. While we cannot guarantee timing, ratings displays generally will be removed from Lawyers.com and martindale.com promptly after we receive the request.

Can the rating be removed or cancelled?
It is our policy to conduct periodic random reviews of all Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM to ensure they accurately reflect attorney performance. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingTM for any disbarred or suspended lawyers are automatically removed as soon as Martindale-Hubbell is notified by a state bar. Other types of lawyer disciplinary actions administered by the appropriate bar or judicial authorities may also be grounds to remove a rating. While bar-admitting authorities supply Martindale-Hubbell with disciplinary information, Martindale-Hubbell also reserves the right to investigate information from the bar or the judiciary regarding rated lawyers that may impact the ethical standards of a rated lawyer. Ratings also may be removed or cancelled for violation of the Use Guidelines.