Experience has taught me that wisdom comes from listening to feedback. That feedback, whether positive or negative, can serve as a powerful agent of change and growth.
Today we released findings of our 2009 Online Ratings Survey. The survey was conducted earlier this year by Lightspeed Research, an independent research firm. The survey included 361 legal professionals as well as 200 small business owners and consumers.
What I found very interesting was that the survey found that 87 percent of respondents use review and ratings Web sites for personal and professional reasons, and that more than 70 percent of lawyers believe a combination of both numerical scores and narrative feedback offers the most valuable type of evaluation from review and ratings Web sites.
Lawyers are also looking for more comprehensive information, particularly from review and ratings Web sites within their own profession. Ninety percent of lawyers believe current resources available to help evaluate lawyers are not comprehensive enough, provide incomplete information, and are not specific enough or objective enough.
Bear in mind that the survey did not ask respondents for their views specifically about ratings offerings from Martindale-Hubbell. Nonetheless, we have taken their feedback and criticisms to heart and we’ve used this and other research to help guide the transformation of our own ratings programs.
Earlier this year we introduced a new Client Review feature in response to numerous conversations with corporate counsel and private individuals who told us that Client Reviews could play a critical part in selecting counsel.
Last month we announced changes to the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. This ratings program continues to provide a measure of both a lawyer’s General Ethical Standards and Legal Ability based on anonymous peer assessments of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. However, the Legal Ability Rating is now area-of-practice-specific and rated on a scale of one to five. In addition, basic demographic data on reviewers is aggregated and displayed along with narrative feedback reviewers wish to offer.
These changes reflect extensive research (including but certainly not limited to this recent survey) and feedback from the legal community on decision-support data they consider most useful to inform their selection of legal counsel. We continue to adapt to the changing needs of the legal marketplace and we welcome your thoughts, feedback and input every step of the way. We are listening…