What Does an AV Rating Mean?

August 18, 2021
AV Rating Lawyer

In our internet-rich age, ratings and reviews are critical to the success of any business. The AV Rating / Peer Review system from Martindale-Hubbell is a tool potential clients can use when evaluating attorneys.

AV Ratings Defined: What is the Highest Martindale-Hubbell Rating?

In 1887, Martindale-Hubbell created this peer-review system for fellow lawyers, where attorneys can be reviewed by other attorneys. 

Before you can receive a peer-review rating, you must first be evaluated for the “V” part of the rating. If you’re endorsed with a “V” (meaning “very high”), it means you’ve followed the professional rules of conduct and ethics. After this endorsement, you’re given an A, B, or C rating. 

AV Ratings or “AV Preeminent”

This is the highest rating you can get in the peer-review process.

To earn an AV rating, you’ll probably need years or decades of experience with a great reputation.

You’ll need at least 10 years of experience to receive this rating. If you receive an AV rating, it means you’ve been recognized for having high levels of integrity and skill.

BV Ratings or “Distinguished”  

This is also a very respectable and high rating to receive, as this awards attorneys who have some experience and have been found to show great legal skills. 

CV Ratings or “Notable”

This rating is not negative. To receive a CV or “notable” rating means that your ability is above average. This is a great initial rating to receive, especially. 

martindale awards

How to Get AV Rated

There are a few ways you could go to get a peer rating:

  1. Use a Peer Reference Nomination tool directly from Martindale-Hubbell. You can receive this tool by contacting their customer support team.
  2. Submit a list of peers who are already listed in the Martindale-Hubbell database. According to Martindale-Hubbell, you must also have been admitted to the bar for three years and have a profile on their website. 
  3. Martindale-Hubbell will then send a survey to your reference list where you will be evaluated. Additionally, they will send this survey to attorneys who aren’t on your reference list. 

The length of this process depends on how long it will take to gather your references and for them to complete the ratings. It will typically post on Martindale.com within 24 hours of its completion. 

How Will an AV Rating Affect my Firm?

While these ratings are just a part of a whole when a client is trying to select an attorney, ratings are a large factor. One survey suggested that over 90% of consumers looked at online reviews when selecting a service or business. Being an AV Rated Law firm won’t do everything to get customers (that’s where SEO comes in), but it makes a difference. 

Are AV Ratings for Firms or Individuals?

While law firms as a whole aren’t put through a peer-review process, they are still recognized. Here’s how it works: if there’s an individual AV rated attorney within a law firm, the law firm will be given the rating of the individual with the highest rating. 

Why AV Ratings?

If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’ve probably read reviews and check out ratings before completing your purchase.

For example, if you’re looking for a florist in Toledo, you’ll probably look at the star rating

google rating

as well as the individual reviews.

google reviews

Attorneys have Google ratings and reviews just like the Toledo florists, but the Martindale-Hubbell peer-review system is to exclusively rate attorneys.

(Speaking of reviews, we wrote an entire blog about how to write a great review for attorneys here, check it out).

Contact Us Today

If you have any questions regarding your lawyer website and AV ratings, please don’t hesitate to contact the SEO experts at Law Firm Sites. We can create an attorney website design that showcases your peer-review rating badge if you’ve recently received an AV rating or other rating for maximum impact. 

author image

Emma Carpenter