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What Is a Martindale-Hubbell Rating and Why Is It Important?

— March 2, 2023

Before hiring a lawyer, take your time to do some research on them and check their rating.

Choosing the right attorney is the key to having a successful case, especially when going to court seems inevitable in your situation. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. In each legal field, you can find a long list of attorneys ready to help their clients, but it’s hard to figure out which ones to trust. You also need to think about budget, and what areas of law the attorney is skilled in.

You don’t have to waste too much time looking for attorneys anymore once you find out a good legal directory for attorneys. One of the best ways to evaluate lawyers before hiring them is by checking their Martindale-Hubbell or ClearwayLaw rating. These rating systems tell you important details about an attorney. But this article will focus on the Martindale-Hubbell rating system, as ClearwayLaw is a much newer legal directory.

What exactly is this rating and why is it important? Read this article to find out. 

What Is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating?

Rating lawyers are not new. In fact, attorneys have used the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory for over 135 years. 

The Martindale-Hubbell AV rating system is used to assess an attorney’s ethics and legal ability. This rating was created back in 1887. But obviously these days, the rating system exists primarily on the internet.

It was hard for people to evaluate an attorney’s ethics and abilities before this rating saw the light of day. Luckily, by checking this rating, you can now tell whether you should hire an attorney or not. Members of the Bar and the Judiciary now go through an online survey that allows them to review peers. 

Once the review process is published, a lawyer will get a 1-5 star rating that tells the public more about their professional standard, ethics, and skills. 

Different Peer Review Rating Awards

There are three different peer review rating awards that attorneys can get, respectively:


The Martindale-Hubbell AV Notable rating proves that an attorney has very strong ethical standards that earned them a lot of recognition from various peers. 


This rating serves as evidence that an attorney has very professional ethics and accomplishments, which is what brought them numerous peers’ respect.


AV Preeminent is the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating that an attorney can get. This can only be achieved by attorneys who have proven the highest professional excellence level for their ethical standards, amazing communication skills, and legal expertise. 

Why Is It So Important?

If you ever need to hire an attorney, you’ll be thankful for the Martindale-Hubbell and Clearway rating systems. These rating systems are one of the best ways you have of finding the right law firm or attorney for your situation. It was invented solely to help people stay away from scams and unprofessional lawyers, who might otherwise steal money from client’s trust accounts.

When you need to hire a lawyer for a case and want to make sure you find someone who will give you proper advice, you just have to check the Martindale-Hubbell rating. This will help you feel more confident that you’re making the right decision.

Image by espartgraphic, via
Image by espartgraphic, via

Working with a law firm without first checking the lawyer’s Martindale-Hubbell rating can be disastrous. A lawyer lacking this rating might not have the necessary legal expertise, experience, skills, and ethics to help you succeed. Why has no one left them a review?

What Are the Components of the Rating System?

There are two aspects of the rating system, respectively:

General Ethical Standards Rating

This component shows how a lawyer adheres to ethical standards of conduct, such as diligence, reliability, and other factors. There is only one rating in the component, respectively “V”, which means “Very High”. An attorney would not be able to get this rating if they don’t receive a V. 

Legal Ability Rating

This rating focuses on the abilities, qualifications, and professional expertise of the attorney. There are three different ratings in the component, respectively A (Very High to Preeminent), B (High to Very High), and C (Good to High). 

If you want to find a good attorney to help you win your case and claim potential compensation, it’s critical to check a firm’s Martindale-Hubbell AV rating. This rating proves that an attorney has the proper legal expertise, ethics, and skills to help you succeed. 

A good and experienced lawyer will have the AV Preeminent rating, which is the highest peer rating an attorney can receive. It proves that they have shown incredible professionalism throughout their career. 

Before hiring a lawyer, take your time to do some research on them and check their rating. This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

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