Rating services tell you something, but they are not the best way to pick a lawyer.
For the record, I have the highest possible rating from AVVO, and also from Martindale Hubbell (which is the oldest lawyer rating service anywhere). I just learned that I have been selected by another rating service as having the qualities of an outstanding lawyer, but I’m not allowed to tell you what rating service.
It’s like the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval – I guess you’re better off with it than without it. But you can get good products that don’t have the seal, and you can get a bad product that does have the seal.
Lawyers are like that. AVVO and Martindale Hubbell both collect data to determine how well a lawyer is thought of by other lawyers – and it can give you some indication of how well equipped that lawyer is to represent you.
But when I look at the ratings of civil trial lawyers I know on AVVO – the ones I would hire if I were in a jam – their ratings ranged from 6.7 (“Good”) to 7.9 (“Very Good”) on a scale of 10. (I’m a 10). The one I would be most likely to hire was one of the two rated at 6.7.
Five attorneys from one firm – that is based two hundred miles away, and who don’t spend most of their time in Cincinnati – appeared on the first two pages of AVVO, all with ratings higher than 9.6.
Similar things – but not quite as bad – happen with Martindale Hubbell ratings.
Both systems underrate some excellent lawyers, and overrate some ones who are OK.
How would I pick a lawyer if I wasn’t one? If I had a personal injury case that I knew was serious, but I didn’t know who the best lawyer to handle that type of lawsuit in this area?
I would call the best lawyer I know – a friend, or someone who had handled a divorce well for a friend, or a lawyer who had done a good job on an estate – and tell them what my problem was, and ask them who they would hire.
Because – usually – good lawyers will only hire good lawyers, and they will take very seriously any request for advice.
But if you’re reading this, you obviously are interested in what you see. So why don’t you give me, a Cincinnati truck injury lawyer, a call.
If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me all the time. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.