What Does it Mean to Be AV® Rated?

At Samuelson Hause & Samuelson, LLP, one of our very own Long Island divorce lawyers, Wendy B. Samuelson, has had the honor of receiving an AV® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®. This is an extremely notable achievement, as this recognition marks the highest peer review rating offered to attorneys by the well-respected organization. This rating indicates that a lawyer has been ranked as having the highest level of professional excellence, particularly in the areas of legal ability and ethical standards. The three Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ that are available include AV Preeminent® (4.5-5.0), BV Distinguished® (3.0-4.4) and Rated (1.0-2.9).

How Are the Ratings Determined?

In the Professional Review Ratings™ process, attorneys are evaluated by other members of the bar and the judiciary, according to the explanation of the process provided on the Martindale-Hubbell® website. The evaluators are located in similar geographic areas as the individuals being evaluated, and they also work in similar legal practice areas. These peer-review evaluations are carried out through Martindale-Hubbell® surveys that are facilitated by LexisNexis, with the evaluators being asked to rate the lawyers in the areas of General Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Attorneys are required to have been admitted to a bar within the U.S. or Canada for three years or more before they can be peer-reviewed by Martindale-Hubbell®. They are also required to be in good standing with their bar associations.

"General ethical standards" refer to the lawyers' standards in relation to ethics, conduct, diligence, reliability and other similar qualities that they use in their legal careers. Once an attorney scores "Very High" in this area, he or she can move onto the Legal Ability portion of the evaluation, which is broken up into five categories:

  • Legal Knowledge
  • Legal Experience
  • Analytical Capabilities
  • Communication Ability
  • Judgment

The legal professional being evaluated is given a rating from 1 to 5 in each of these five areas, with the final scores determining which type of rating the lawyer receives. The final ratings are displayed in the Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory, as well as on Martindale.com®, Lawyers.com ℠ and other resources. Martindale-Hubbell® is a professional rating service that dates more than 140 years, according to the organization.

What's the significance?

By earning AV Preeminent® Peer Review Ratings™, attorneys show that they are held especially high esteem by their professional peers. Third-party validation is very important, as it maintains accountability in the legal profession. These ratings also provide a way to help consumers identify lawyers who have been distinguished within their legal communities.

If you would like to learn more about how our AV® Rated attorney or the rest of our legal team can assist you with a divorce or another family law matter, contact Samuelson Hause & Samuelson, LLP. Our skilled lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience.

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