Once you have the names of several lawyers, you can find additional information about them in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, available in many libraries and on the Internet (see http://www.martindale.com/). The directory contains biographical information, experience, specialties, education, and other professional information. Some attorneys are not listed because they are new to the profession or practice in a rural location where there are too few other attorneys or judges to rate them.
Almost every attorney listed in the directory is rated AV, BV, or CV. The ratings are a compilation of confidential opinions that Martindale-Hubbell solicits from lawyers and judges. There are two components to each Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating. The first letter is for “Legal Ability,” which is rated as follows:
- A—very high to preeminent
- B—high to very high
- C—fair to high
The second letter, V, stands for “Very High General Recommendation,” meaning that the rated lawyer adheres to professional standards of conduct and ethics.
A Martindale-Hubbell rating should not be your only criterion for deciding on a potential lawyer. However, you can be reasonably confident that a lawyer who gets high marks from other clients and an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell is knowledgeable and credible.
- a. Attorney Ratings
- b. Interviewing Prospective Attorney Candidates
- c. Deciding What to Include in Your Estate Plan
- d. Preparing a Checklist for Meeting with an Attorney
Prepare Your Estate Plan belongs to a series called Legally Secure Your Financial Future. The series also includes information to help you organize important household papers and to communicate your health-care wishes.