Before engaging the services of a law firm, it is necessary to know its background and performance record. To do this, you have to find out the ratings of the firm about its legal ability and standards.
Law firms are rated based on their ability and general ethical standards. There are rating boards across the country which conduct and evaluate law firms based on confidential opinions of members of the bar and the Judiciary. The ratings are given on a five-year interval, usually after a lawyer has been admitted to the bar.
The two components of the ratings system are:
o Legal Ability – This component is graded in three ways: C (good to high), B (high to very high) and C (very high to preeminent)
o The General Ethical Standard Ratings denotes ‘adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, תאונות עבודה diligence and other criteria related to the discharge of legal responsibilities’. The general recommendation rating of a law firm must be a “V” which it must first receive in order to gain the legal ability rating.
The ratings are typically described as follows:
o CV Rating – An excellent first rating, a statement of the firm’s above average ability and high ethical standard
o BV Rating – Means an exemplary reputation and well-established practice, also indicates that law firm is in mid-career, with a significant client base and high professional standard
o AV Rating – The firm has reached the height of professional excellence, indicates long years of law practice with the highest level of skill and integrity
The Importance of the Rating System
The rating system on lawyers and their firms are conducted to help you determine which lawyer or legal entity is worth hiring. The rating will also show you the level of competence and experience of a law firm as seen on the classification grade. Nevertheless being un-rated does not mean a law firm has no credibility. Many competent and reputable law firms in the country remain unrated or choose not to participate in the ratings. In researching about a firm’s credentials, peers, colleagues and former clients are still the best sources of real information.
Important Characteristics of a Reputable Legal Firms
For a law firm to be respectable, the following characteristics must be observed:
o Professional – Lawyers of a firm must show a high level of professionalism by treating each client with their full attention and support
o Experience – Lawyers must meet stringent practice area qualifications and must be dedicated to the practice of one area of law
o Good Standing – Lawyers must be of good record in the bar associations where they belong and must have no record of disciplinary action against them.
o Respected – The lawyer and the firm he represents must be respected by the community and his peers
Finding a reputable law firm is very much like looking for the right lawyer. Look for the firm that will suit your needs. However, when it comes to choosing the right firm, you should look at afirm’s experience and reputation. These are the two important factors to be considered when selecting a firm that will handle your legal needs.