How to Get a Martindale-Hubbell Rating


Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common

For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.

In the /r/Lawyers subreddit (requires invitation), DingoMcPhee posted a helpful guide to getting a Martindale-Hubbell rating:

OVERVIEW: Assemble a list of 25-30 references, send Martindale an email, then submit your references’ contact info to Martindale. The references do a survey and then you get your score.

Here it is in more detail:

STEP ONE: Assemble a list of the names and email addresses (or mailing addresses) of 25-30 lawyers or judges who would give you a rating. (The minimum is 18, but you want more because some may not participate, and non-participation will hurt your rating.) References cannot be from your firm; references must be listed on (if they aren’t, they can email their name, address, email, year/state of admission, education and areas of practice to and get a free listing); maximum of two lawyers from any single firm or organization.

STEP TWO: Send an email to requesting a Peer Review, something like this:

I request that a Peer Review be initiated on my behalf.

I am the managing partner at [firm] and I have been practicing law for [X] years. I am admitted to practice in [state(s)]. My primary areas of practice are [whatever]. My work mailing address is [work address], though I prefer that all non-work correspondence be delivered to my home address at [home address].

Please let me know what is needed to begin the Peer Review Process.

Sincerely, A. Lawyer

STEP THREE: Martindale will reply with an email explaining the peer review process.

STEP FOUR: Not required, but it’s a good idea to call or email your references with a heads up that the survey is coming, something like:

Martindale/LexisNexis asked me for the names of colleagues who would fill out a survey and review me for a possible AV rating. I took the liberty of giving them your name and contact information. Please feel free to provide my name as your reference if ever in need.

In a few days, you should receive an email (or perhaps a letter in the mail) regarding this peer review. The subject line of the email will read “Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings – Invitation to Participate”. Because it will be distributed to multiple recipients, and from a company that does a lot of advertising, the email may get caught up in your junk mail folder. For my sake, please respond to the survey because they require a minimum number of responses, and a failure to respond is counted negatively. It should take less than five minutes.

I hope you are doing well in your practice and I look forward to catching up with you soon. Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.

Regards, A. Lawyer

STEP FIVE: A day or two later, Martindale will email you a link to a webpage where you will submit your references’ contact information.

STEP SIX: Martindale will contact your references and they will fill out a survey.

STEP SEVEN: Six to eight weeks later, you should get your rating.

(Reposted with DingoMcPhee’s permission. [Source]) Counterpoint: “No One Cares About Your Martindale-Hubbell Rating.”


Get Lawyerist in Your Inbox, Daily

Current Articles
Current Lab Discussions
  • Max

    Once you achieve a score what is the best way to use it to attract clients?

    • Brag about it, I guess?

      Look, a Martindale-Hubbell rating may mean something to some corporate clients, but to the vast majority of potential clients it is meaningless, made more meaningless by the unhelpfulness of the rating itself. Is AV good or bad? You only know if you already know what a Martindale-Hubbell rating is.

      • Jamie Sutton

        I’m young as far as the field goes, 32 years old. Literally until this moment I had never even heard of Martindale-Hubbell. In a quick survey of my own personal contacts, most of whom are still in law school, young in the field, or in public interest work….. less than 10 percent of them had ever heard of a Martindale-Hubbell rating. So…. yeah, I’m going to go with a strong ‘who cares’ here.

        • These days, a Yelp rating may have more influence than Martindale.