Law firm

What is an AV rated law firm? What Is an AV-Rated Law Firm (And Why Does It Matter?)

Essentially, an AV rating for a law firm is about the firm’s legal capacity rating and it is a serious rating that indicates the law firm’s ethical standards and professional excellence.

Achieving an AV ranking is therefore prestigious – and sought after. Since most new clients check law firm or attorney reviews before engaging an attorney, attorney ratings are extremely important.

Audiovisual ratings provide an excellent marketing opportunity for lawyers and their firms

And the Martindale-Hubbell AV rating, the peer review system is one of the most prestigious given the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, which thoroughly examine the attorney’s discharge of professional responsibilities, standards of professional conduct and reaching the overall height of professional success, it is an invaluable tool for any attorney (and their law firm) to have in their legal marketing arsenal.

Less than five percent of attorneys in the United States receive an AV Preeminent rating, which is the highest level of professional excellence awarded by legal peers.

It takes into account factors such as not only professional standards and rating of general ethical standards, but also reliability, diligence and professional competence.

What does “AV” stand for?

The peer rating system is based on high ethical standards, evaluated by members of the legal community. The “V” in the rating standards stands for “very high”. Once approved, the grade can be A, B or C.

Thus, an AV rating or “Preeminent AV” rating is the highest available and is a very prestigious rating.

What is an AV-rated law firm (and why is it important?) 4

The attorney must have 10 years of experience to earn a rating, but with an AV attorney rating, the attorney is classified as having high integrity and skill.

A ‘BV’ rating would be given to a ‘distinguished’ lawyer with considerable skill, while a ‘CV’ rating is above average skill – which is like a stepping stone to the AV rating, or the preeminent AV rating, being the highest score.

In 2017, Martindale Hubbell also introduced a new “Customer Champion” award which defines three different reward levels, based on customer reviews and described by the company as follows:

Platinum: Has received at least 10 customer reviews and maintains an average rating of 4.5 or higher.
Gold: Has received at least 6 customer reviews and maintains an average rating of 4.2 or higher.
Silver: Has received at least 3 customer reviews and maintains an average rating of 4.0 or higher.
Customer reviews : At least one customer review.

Martindale-Hubbell Ratings

As early as the late 19th century, actually dating back to 1887, Martindale-Hubbell developed a system of peer review that allowed lawyers to be evaluated by other lawyers on a confidential but objective basis using confidential questionnaires.

The goal was to create the trust necessary to establish a system that identified lawyers trusted by their peers, which meant they were lawyers trusted – and used – by clients.

The steps taken to establish a credible and authoritative rating system has been a significant achievement in ratings. This does not involve Martindale-Hubbell making its own judgments, but rather facilitating peer reviews that have the authority to let people learn more about lawyers they can retain for areas of law. specific or for any legal advice.

Ratings apply to law firms in the United States and Canada.

The AV rating is intended to publicly demonstrate that the lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence and will generally involve lawyers who have practiced for many years with appropriate recognition of their ethical and professional status, which implies a high standard legal knowledge and high ethics. .

How to Become an AV-Rated Law Firm

Ratings apply to lawyers rather than firms, but a lawyer’s rating will clearly have an advantage for their law firm.

To obtain the notation one must by applying to Martindale-Hubbell for the notation. They also require that the attorney or firm have a profile on the Martindale-Hubbell website and that attorneys have been called to the bar for at least three years. However, initial scoring will normally take place after five years of admission to the Bar.

The assessment of legal capacity assessed as part of the process is based on confidential opinions solicited from members of the bar and judiciary and will include those who are assessed and those who do not have an assessment.

Martindale-Hubbell then weighs the opinions they have, which may sometimes involve obtaining professional references and other third-party feedback to arrive at the final grade.

The concept is to monitor the lawyer’s career throughout their career to ensure that the rating reflects the highest level of professional excellence of the rated lawyer. Obviously, the law firms involved will get appropriate “reflected glory” from reputable lawyers within the firm.

The particular attorney’s assessment will be subject to reasonably regular review, including the situation where there may be a matter regarding professional ethics that comes to the attention of Martindale-Hubbell representatives. This includes information sent to Martindale-Hubbell by Bar or Law Society authorities regarding attorneys.

The key components of the AV assessment

The legal capacity assessment will examine the lawyer’s professional skills and abilities, looking at the specific area of ​​practice as well as ethical standards.

Many experienced lawyers (i.e. most lawyers qualified for av ratings) will have specific areas of practice and peer review ratings will be based on their abilities and knowledge in those areas.

The ratings used by the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory include a range of five factors drawn from attorney peers, ranging from legal knowledge, analytical skills, communication ability, judgment and legal experience.

What are the AV assessments themselves?

Ratings range from A to C, which range from highest (A), for very high or preeminent ranking, to high to very high ranking (B), and then from good to high (C).

The General Ethical Standards scoring concerns the overall ethics and stance of the attorney, including questions that will be asked about reliability, diligence, and the general manner in which an attorney handles their professional roles and responsibilities.

The overall recommendation rating is V, which is very high. The legal capacity assessment will not be given unless the lawyer has been approved for ‘V’.

Once the General Ethical Standards rating and the Overall rating under the Peer Review ratings are confirmed, the lawyer will receive a “V” rating, the lawyer will receive either a CV, BV or AV rating.

The pinnacle is the AV Peer Review Rating, which is the AV certification for the highest ranking showing that the lawyer has achieved the highest level of professional excellence and competence. They are the people with preeminent legal capacity and the highest ethical standards.

The Initial Peer Rating is the Resume Peer Review Rating, which is the initial rating indicating above-average ability and excellent ethics. It is also the highest achievement for more recently admitted lawyers who were admitted during the 3-4 year period.

The BV Peer Review rating is an excellent rating for lawyers with more experience than the CV ratings and applies to lawyers admitted to the bar in the period of 5 to 9 years who have demonstrated their legal skills and their high level of professional ability and d ‘ethics.

How a Company Acquires AV Rating Status

A law firm will qualify for av rating status even if the ratings apply to the individual lawyer and the lawyer’s practice, rather than to the firm itself.

But the law firm can achieve AV-rated status by having an AV-rated attorney within the firm, displaying the lawyer’s superior expertise and ethics.