Big Plans for Martindale-Hubbell Ratings

by Carlton Dyce on December 27, 2008 · 4 comments

in Ratings

In the words of Mark Twain, the reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated. Despite suggestions floated in various e-mails and blogs, Peer Review Ratings are not dead and they are not going away.

First and foremost, it is important to know that LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell is fully committed to providing the industry’s most complete, objective and reliable ratings – including the valuable AV Peer Review Rating – and will continue to do so.

Over the past year, Martindale-Hubbell has begun a broad and ongoing transformation of its offerings in response to our clients’ demands for more diverse, more interactive and more complete information and capabilities. Examples include the Martindale-Hubbell Connected online network for lawyers, LinkedIn integration, online video, patent activity data and more.

Further elements of our transformation include changes to our Martindale-Hubbell ratings, which began with the launch of Client Reviews in September, the addition of Chambers rankings announced this fall, and enhanced Peer Review Ratings coming in 2009. The end result will be increased transparency by practice area, narrative feedback and validated data from third parties that provides examples of an attorney’s experience.

We are very excited about this new, robust ratings offering because it will provide a 360-degree evaluation of an attorney — information only Martindale-Hubbell is uniquely equipped to provide. With these changes to ratings, Martindale-Hubbell has also moved to a team support structure for more effective and efficient ratings services to clients. This will result in an overall increase in the support and resources we have committed to our ratings offering.

To provide even more focus, we will name a new VP/ Product Champion of Ratings who will help us spread the message about our transformation. We are also increasing the current number of Martindale-Hubbell Specialists in the market in order to educate our firms about all the new offerings, including enhanced ratings services. We are adding a product marketing team for a more consistent flow of information and wider communication and we have expanded the current responsibilities of our inside Ratings Support team.

After careful consideration and a long period of deliberation, this change also included a change in the role and responsibilities of the ratings specialists. While this was a truly difficult decision, it is one that we felt necessary to best meet client needs.

Finally, we continue to communicate with clients about all of the changes at Martindale-Hubbell, and as recently as last week we communicated our new ratings support strategy. To date the feedback has been positive and in the coming weeks we will be providing more details about our new ratings transformation.

So although rumor of the demise of our ratings is making its way around cyberspace, rest assured we are still committed to our rich ratings tradition and we still consider our ratings to be the gold standard in the industry. We’ve got big plans for Martindale-Hubbell Ratings – stay tuned.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Duncan Leitch wrote onJanuary 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I am 59 years of age and graduated with a JD in Dec. 86, then immediately passed the first bar in early 87. Have worked on a wide variety of cases, mostly civil – mostly plaintiff, but a number on the defense side. I have several health challenges including an atypical form of Parkinsons’ Disease and other health challenges. Have been Listed by our State Supreme Court to be approved as both a Civil Law and Family Law Mediator. Two of my employers are former very prominent- winning US Sup Ct oral argument and a man handling many $6 million to $20 million cases, etc. on the defense side, with multiple defendants. Also did big plaintiff plaintiff cases, with lifetime care required. In both cases, I was a salaried employee, sometimes performing the majority of preparation & motions, discovery, etc. Both are now ill. Does it make sense for me to apply for a rating? Have had zero Board Complaints or lawsuits from clients or other lawyers.-since early 87.


Carlton Dyce Carlton Dyce wrote onJanuary 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Mr. Leitch,

Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us. We recognize that a lawyer’s time is valuable. We checked your listing and did not find your name on our database. This could simply be because we have not received any updated information from you in a while. As you know Martindale-Hubbell endeavors to include all lawyers in the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Network and offers basic profiles without charge. I suggest the following:

1) To take advantage of a complimentary listing, simply go to listings and provide your updated information so that we can once again have you in the network.
2) Once your listing is updated we will be more than happy to assist you further with regard to the Peer Review ratings or Client Review ratings process.

Deciding on whether or not to pursue a lawyer rating is an individual choice. I will say that ratings are relied upon by many attorneys, corporate counsel and consumers as part of their due diligence when hiring an attorney or looking to refer work from one attorney to another.

Hope that helps and good talking with you.


Stephen Dorsi wrote onAugust 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Ever since the pay for rating system was adopted by Martindale in 2007, I have not found one living lawyer rated among the lawyers that I have encountered in the course of my practice. Apparently, Mark Twain was not referring to Martindale. Carlton Dyce should be looking for a day job. The “end of the day” has come. An antiquated tool that was working has been fixed until it has been eternally broken.


Carlton Dyce Carlton Dyce wrote onAugust 26, 2009 at 10:02 am

Mr. Dorsi, – I’d like to address some assertions you’ve made in your comment as I feel they require some clarification:

First, more than 300,000 lawyers are currently rated on our Martindale-Hubbell database. We are very proud of our ratings process and in today’s competitive marketplace; Peer Review Ratings still represents an objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability. We also see lawyers publicly announcing or including their Martindale-Hubbell rating in their promotional materials every day and we hear from both private practice lawyers and corporate law departments that when forwarding a matter they continue to rely with confidence on the accuracy of the peer review ratings that are published. This continues to demonstrate to us that lawyers and users of legal services see value in the ratings certification marks of distinction and it is further proof of the value lawyers put on a rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Second, we have been busy making updates, changes and improvements to our ratings based on feedback from lawyers like you. For example, since my post above we have instituted a number of valuable new features, including:

 Client reviews ratings for lawyers and law firms which can be found on and
 The addition of Chambers rankings and..
 Soon to be launched, an enhanced Peer Review Ratings

Third, you’ve referenced a “pay for ratings” system. It’s important to know that the ratings are not bought and it is extremely important that you know that Martindale-Hubbell will not “un-rate an attorney” if the admin fee is not paid. Martindale Hubbell still includes an attorney’s listing in Martindale Hubbell – but the rating will not display unless the PRR fee is paid. Payment of the PRR fee is a personal choice by each attorney whether they value the rating enough to pay the annual fee for display.

Finally, speaking of Martindale-Hubbell, this year we launched one of our most significant services to the legal community; an MH Connected online network for lawyers and legal professionals. Currently at 14,000 members and growing, it is one of the premier online professional networks for the industry. We invite you to check it out.


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