Changes to Martindale Hubbell rules governing how it displays your peer review rating online
December 12, 2011
Stating their goal is greater transparency, Martindale Hubbell has announced it’s changing the rules governing how it displays your peer review rating online. They’ve also changed how you will learn of and what occurs when you suppress or comment upon written feedback made by other lawyers and clients on your profile.
It surprises many of our clients and friends to learn that other lawyers and clients can make solicited and unsolicited comments about your work on www.martindale.com and www.lawyers.com. From what we can tell, about 25% of lawyers now have clients, referral sources and co-counsel who have posted such feedback there. Oddly, you could do this anonymously in mid-November, but as of Thanksgiving week it appears anyone giving a review will be identified. We encourage you to seek reviews but you may want to make sure you are within your firm’s social media policy, if any, and in compliance with your state’s Rules relating to testimonials before doing so.
The reason we encourage obtaining feedback is because a recent study by Cone, released September 8, shows positive online reviews and ratings cement a personal recommendation/referral for 90 percent of consumers. As well, the study reveals that negative online information has subverted a personal recommendation for 80 percent of consumers. The data shows this is true not just for personal recommendations related to consumer products, restaurants and hotels— it’s true for nearly 40% of personal recommendations made related to professional services providers, including lawyers. So it’s a best practice that your law firm marketing plan and personal business development efforts include obtaining positive online ratings and reviews like those available from Martindale, Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers In America, AVVO, Chambers and other services used by your clients and referral sources.
We recommend you check to see if anyone has posted feedback about you on the Martindale sites. I’m sure you’ll want to know your options if you don’t like what’s there. Here’s a link to your options. It’s where you’ll find Martindale’s explanations of the changes in ratings displays and notifications, as well: https://www.lexisnexis.com/ratings1/