There was a time when Martindale-Hubbell was probably one of the most widely used reference books in a firm’s law library.
The heavy volumes were not only the simplest way to locate law firms and attorneys, but they were also full of other useful information.
That leather-bound book contained summaries of the laws in every U.S. state, as well as many foreign countries.
Need to refer a client to an estate planning attorney in Michigan?
Need to find out about the statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Ohio?
Need to know the Service of Process rules in Canada?
You guessed it—check Martindale-Hubbell.
Today, Martidale-Hubbel is an online database that provides background information on lawyers and law firms in the United States and other countries. It contains the profiles of over one million lawyers and firms globally.
The database allows users to search for lawyers based on factors like geography, specialty, language, and law school. Its peer reviews and peer review rating system are invaluable tools for attorneys to grow their clients by promoting their robust track records of professional excellence.
James B. Martindale founded The Martindale Directory in 1868 with the goal of furnishing lawyers, merchants, real estate agents, and bankers with the address of a single reliable attorney, real estate office, banker, etc. in every U.S. city.
In 1930, the company acquired the rights to Hubbell’s Legal Directory, which was an existing law digest for each U.S. state. In 1990, Martindale-Hubbell law directory was purchased by LexisNexis and eventually that one or two volumes of data exploded into 26 volumes and a directory of over 1 million attorneys.
In 2014, Martindale-Hubbell became part of Internet Brands, and in 2018, Internet Brands rebranded its legal group under the name “Martindale-Avvo.” This is interesting because Martindale and Avvo use similar methods for compiling their attorney ratings.
The Martindale-Hubbell rating that most attorneys post on their websites is a peer review rating. In other words, they are based on what other attorneys think of them, not clients. While few potential clients care about what another attorney thinks of you, they will probably be impressed by a badge that shows you’ve attained the “highest marks,” or an AV Preeminent rating.
The next step is to request that Martindale begin the peer nomination process. While you don’t have to be a subscriber to do this, the site makes it easier for subscribers by giving them direct access to the Peer Reference Nomination Tool. Otherwise, you’ll need to email the company.
Next, you should have a compiled list of 20-25 (or more) attorneys and judges that are familiar with your legal abilities that you can list as peers. Each party you include must also be listed on Martindale.com to participate in the process.
Finally, Martindale suggests that you reach out to each of your listed peers to let them know an email message from Martindale will be forthcoming.
Your peer review ratings are based on several factors:
When a sufficient number of peer ratings are returned, an average rating is provided. There are three possibilities:
There are a few ways to this legal profession rating:
The length of this peer review process depends on how long it takes to gather references and for them to complete the ratings.
Martindale ratings used to be entirely based on peer reviews, but this has changed. Consumer preferences demand that there be more opportunities to read about the experiences of former clients as well.
Now, a Martindale-Hubbell attorney search also provides users with client review ratings. Clients are asked to complete surveys that rate the attorney on a scale of 1 to 5 in four categories: Communication Ability, Quality of Service, Value for Money, and Responsiveness. Clients can also provide additional written feedback in a review.
In addition to the reviews being available on your profile, Martindale also has an annual Client Championship awards program, which delivers three levels of awards (Silver, Gold, & Platinum) based on client reviews.
While the Martindale-Hubbell rating seems like a lot of effort, it may be worth some headaches thanks to the broad reach you’ll receive. Now that a single company owns so many legal directories, Martindale claims that it is posting the same profile information on Lawyers.com as well as Nolo.
Martindale also offers quite a few upsells, such as lead generation and website building services, which we don’t recommend. These are incredibly costly and won’t provide you with the best return on your legal marketing dollars, which brings us to the next point…
Legal directories are some of the simplest and most effective ways for attorneys to grow their online presence and get valuable backlinks. They not only enhance your law firm’s online presence but also help build brand awareness and help your business get discovered online.
Many directories rank well in search engines, increasing a law firm’s footprint in Google search results. Using directories like Matindale-Hubbell also allows lawyers to engage in barnacle SEO. This digital marketing strategy entails attaching a firm to another website that ranks well for the firm’s desired keywords or related topics, ultimately increasing exposure and leads.
Work With Legal Marketing Experts
If you’d like to find out how to grow your law practice through innovative and effective digital marketing methods, contact Comrade Digital Marketing Agency to learn how we can help you achieve your goals. Comrade Digital Marketing Agency was featured as Top 20 Digital Marketing Agencies of 2019 That Won’t Break the Bank by DesignRush, and continues to deliver results with impressive ROI that drive business growth.
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