What is Martindale-Hubbell?

by DCantor on April 25, 2013

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Martindale-Hubbell is an agency that collects and publishes data about lawyers in the United States and Canada. This data is used to generate a rating to help consumers evaluate legal professionals. The Martindale Directory was first published in 1868 to provide consumers with the address of reliable law firms in each city of the United States. In 1896, the Martindale Directory began using a ratings system to classify the best law firms in the country. The current ratings system operates on similar basis to the original Martindale Directory. The ratings, which measure an attorney’s legal ability and ethical standards, are based on peer reviews and provide an accurate profile of an attorney’s local reputation. In the 1930s, the Martindale Directory merged with Hubbell’s Legal Directory to create the Martindale-Hubbell Directory, which remains one of the comprehensive directories of legal services in the United States and Canada

What is an AV rating?

There are three basic ratings given by Martindale-Hubbell. The ratings system is first and foremost an indication of an attorney’s ethical standards. An initial Martindale-Hubbell rating of 1-2.9 indicates that an attorney has met the criteria for a general ethical standard. No attorney with a poor ethical standard receive a Martindale-Hubbell rating. The second classification is the BV rating. In addition to ethical standards, lawyers are evaluated on a points system in 5 additional areas. These areas are:

• Legal Knowledge
• Analytical Capabilities
• Judgment
• Communication
• Experience

A BV Distinguished rating is usually given to attorneys with limited experience who are practicing at a high level of excellence. While these attorneys are well-qualified and highly ethical, they lack the necessary years of experience to merit an AV rating. The AV Preeminent rating is the highest rating granted by Martindale-Hubbell. An AV rating distinguishes an attorney as among the best in his or her field of practice.

How can Martindale-Hubbell ratings help consumers?

People typically seek out attorneys during times of stress. When faced with a crisis, finding exceptional legal help can be difficult. Consumers of legal services may be unsure of who to turn to for accurate, professional and ethical legal advice. A Martindale-Hubbell rating is a quick and easy indicator that an attorney is highly qualified and practicing at the highest ethical level. The ratings system eliminates the need for consumers to conduct lengthy research to find the best attorney for their needs. An AV rated attorney will be among the most qualified members of the local bar to handle specific legal problems.




David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, practicing Criminal Defense in Arizona. The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor is an AV rated law firm in Phoenix, AZ.

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