Our law firm has been awarded a rating of AV®. This rating reflects the “highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.” An AV® rating represents “the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process that is managed and monitored by the world’s most trusted legal resource.”
What is a Peer Review Rating and how is it obtained?
Peer Review Ratings, established by Martindale-Hubbell, attest to a lawyer’s legal ability and professional ethics. These ratings are based upon a consensus of the confidential opinions of lawyers and judges, usually in the same geographic location and/or area of practice as the lawyer being rated.
Martindale-Hubbell may either conduct personal interviews or send written view questionnaires or eConfidentials (secure online surveys) in order to obtain these reviews.
There are two components to each Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating:
1. General Ethical Standards Rating
The General Ethical Standards Rating denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities.
The General Recommendation Rating is:
V – Very High
A lawyer must receive a General Ethical Standards Rating before his or her review can proceed to the next step.
2. Legal Ability Ratings
Legal Ability Ratings take into consideration the standard of professional ability in the area where the lawyer practices, the lawyer’s expertise, and other professional qualifications. If a lawyer’s practice is limited or specialized, Peer Review Ratings are based on performance in those specific fields of law.
Legal Ability Ratings are:
C – Good to High
B – High to Very High
A – Very High to Preeminent
When both categories of Peer Review Ratings are confirmed, a lawyer receives an CV, BV or AV Rating.
A lawyer’s Peer Review Rating will generally improve over time. But Peer Review Ratings can be revised downward, or even removed if a decline is noted in ability or ethical standards.
CV® Peer Review Rating: The CV is a good first rating for lawyers and a definitive statement of their above-average ability and unquestionable ethics. This is the maximum rating a lawyer can receive who has been admitted to the bar from 3 to 4 years.
BV® Peer Review Rating: The BV is an excellent rating for a lawyer with more experience. This is the maximum rating a lawyer can receive who has been admitted to the bar from 5 to 9 years.
AV® Peer Review Rating: An AV rating is a significant accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. A lawyer must be admitted to the bar for 10 years or more to receive an AV rating.