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?
Check Martindale Hubbell.
Need to find out about the statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Ohio?
Check Martindale Hubbell.
Need to know the Service of Process rules in Canada?
You guessed it - check Martindale Hubbell.
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.
So, how does this work? First, you’ll need a profile on Martindale.com. If you don’t already have one, you can create one.
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 on 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 will 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, a rating is provided. There are three possibilities:
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 of the headaches thanks to the broad reach and improved law firm local SEO 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.
If you’d like to find out how to grow your law practice through innovative and effective digital marketing methods, contact Comrade 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.
There are three levels of peer review rating, with AV being the highest. This award is given only to lawyers whose peers consider them to be at the very top of their game. Furthermore, AV-rated attorneys must adhere to high ethical standards.
Ratings are given on a scale of 1 - 5. Peer ratings between 4.5 and 5 are highly significant accomplishments - the highest possible - proving a lawyer's peers (other lawyers, judges) rank him or her as one of the best in the profession.
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