Martindale-Hubbell Attorney Peer Ratings and Client Reviews

For more than 130 years, Martindale-Hubbell has been evaluating attorneys for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards through a Peer Review Rating system. Prior to the 1887 edition of Martindale’s American Law Directory, which was the first publication to provide such ratings to attorneys, there was no way of truly knowing if the lawyer you were considering to do business with was trustworthy, ethical, or skilled in the legal field.

Today - Martindale-Hubbell continues to provide verified ratings for attorneys based not only on their legal ability and ethical standards as judged by their peers, but also based on reviews from their clients. While the criteria and format of the Peer Review Rating system has evolved since the 1800’s - the goal of Martindale-Hubbell ratings remains the same: to help keep the public informed when making the decision to do business with an attorney or law firm.

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

AV Preeminent, Distinguished and Notable

Historically the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system utilized an “A - B - C” scale to estimate the legal ability and ethical standards of an attorney. To qualify for an “A” rating an attorney had to be reported as “Very High” in their legal ability and had been practicing for at least 10 years, a “B” rating meant an attorney was rated “High” and had to be practicing for at least 5 years, and a “C” rating meant that the attorney was rated “fair” with no limitations on how long they were practicing. A second rating was also given to go along with the “A - B - C” rating and that was a “V,” meaning that the attorney's peers stated they had "Very High" ethical standards. Over the years this transitioned to “AV”, “BV”, and “CV” ratings - with an “AV” rating meaning that the attorney had reached the highest of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.

Today, Martindale-Hubbell conducts a thorough review of attorneys who wish to receive a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™, through a secure online peer review survey where a lawyer’s ethical standards and legal ability in a specific area of practice is assessed by their peers. Once the review process is completed an attorney may receive 1 of the following Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™:
AV Preeminent®: The highest peer rating standard. This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.
Distinguished: An excellent rating for an attorney who has some experience and is widely respected by their peers for their professional achievement and ethical standards.
Notable: A rating given to a lawyer who has been recognized by a large number of their peers for their strong ethical standards


The information of which our ratings are based has been procured at great expense by a system of our own; not relying on any one source, but verifying through several mediums

J.B. Martindale 1896
Founder of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

Martindale-Hubbell Client Review Ratings

While the Peer Review Ratings™ is still the gold standard in attorney ratings - times have most certainly changed since the first attorney ratings were released in 1887. With the rise of the internet and how easy it is to share your experience with a business - it was important that Martindale-Hubbell also introduced a rating system for client reviews. In 2017 Martindale-Hubbell introduced a yearly client review rating award known as the “Client Champion” award to help consumers understand the real world experience previous clients had with a lawyer or law firm. Attorneys can qualify for 3 different award levels of “Client Champion” based on client reviews:

Platinum: Has received at least 10 client reviews and maintains and average client rating of 4.5 or higher.
Gold: Has received at least 6 client reviews and maintains and average client rating of 4.2 or higher.
Silver: Has received at least 3 client reviews and maintains and average client rating of 4.0 or higher.
Client Reviewed: At least one client review.

Whether you’re a consumer who is looking to enlist the services of an attorney or a lawyer interested in being awarded a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ or Client Champion rating - Martindale-Hubbell has all the information you need; just select your path below.


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