The Martindale debate rages on.
A bunch of legal marketers were asked recently on the site, Attorney At Work, whether anyone still pays attention to Martindale-Hubbell.
And more broadly, should we still be considering inclusion in directories like these?
The respondents make the common accusation that directories are little used by buyers of legal services, although a number of them distinguish between paid-for directories that hinge on buying advertising, and more reputable media-driven outlets
On the question of Martindale specifically, most legal marketers seem to have kissed it goodbye.
Not so for some traditional attorneys, for whom the Martindale seal still carries weight.
One lawyer fought back in the comments, saying that the AV rating still counts for something:
“It’s a mistake to brush aside Martindale Hubbell. Someone who has an AV rating is more likely to get work than someone who has no rating. Martindale Hubbell is still viewed by most lawyers as legitimate peer review in most cities and states.”
For my part, I haven’t heard too much about Martindale since it rebranded under the wing of Internet Brands, and partnered with Nolo.
Although that may just reflect its new focus on a different segment of the market.
Martindale appears to have completed its transition to a fully-fledged online marketing solutions business, providing services like web design, hosting, and lead generation.
The lawyer directory piece remains, but is just one part of a broader offering.
Martindale Hubbell announced its joint venture with online marketing company Internet Brands – which owns Nolo – in September 2013.
Nolo was acquired by Internet Brands in April 2011, and offers consumers a range of online documents and other legal resources.
In June 2014, Martindale Hubbell was sold on again, as buyout giant KKR bought Internet Brands for $1.1 billion from another private equity company, Hellman & Friedman.
And recently, Internet Brands scooped up another legal site – Total Attorneys – to add to its growing stable of law-focused businesses.