FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does the Meisterline Index replace other lawyer rating services?
No. The Meisterline Index is best viewed as complementary to these other services. Meisterline Index expertise ratings provide information that no other rating service or lawyer directory can, which is why for some users they are an essential input into their due diligence and management processes for engaging legal experts.
How do you define the specialist areas of legal practice in which you assess lawyers?
When you begin the process of finding an Assessment Form for the jurisdiction and an area of law in which you practice, you’ll come to a list of practice areas covered by the Meisterline Index. We’re assuming it’s this list that you’re interested to know more about, and specifically what we mean by “Banking & Finance,” “Competition Law” and “Restructuring & Insolvency” to name just a few of the areas we cover.
We generally adopt the industry-standard definitions for these areas of law. Though these definitions are not strictly defined, most lawyers and clients are sufficiently familiar with them to use our Assessment Services and interpret our expertise ratings. The mutually exclusive nature of these definitions ensures that lawyers (and others) know when a separate Assessment Form needs to be completed for another area of law.
How long does a Meisterline Index Self-Assessment, a Meisterline Index Development Report and a Meisterline Index Rating Certificate remain valid?
Each of our expertise assessment documents remains valid for 12 months from the date on which their underlying Assessment Form was submitted. This validity period reflects the fact that as a lawyer gains more experience or as their work situation changes, the development of their expertise in a given area of law can also change. It's therefore not realistic for us to hold out a lawyer as having the same rating indefinitely, and nor would a lawyer likely want that.
In our experience, a lawyer's cognitive development in a given area of legal practice should be reviewed every 12 months. Any longer and an existing Meisterline Index expertise rating could begin to materially understate (or possibly overstate) a lawyer's level of expertise in that area. Any shorter and it's unlikely that any material change will be detected, with the possible exception of lawyers in the early stages of specialisation where significant cognitive improvements can take place over just a few months.
Does the Meisterline Index measure a lawyer's client service skills or their ability to work well in teams?
No. The Meisterline Index focuses only on a lawyer's cognitive capacity and capabilities in terms of so-called "hard skills." We do not assess their personalities or character traits beyond this, at least not intentionally.
It’s entirely possible that an individual who rates high on the Meisterline Index could have poor client service skills and not work well in teams. However, in our experience, a lawyer who lacks a degree of competency in these other areas is unlikely to get the consistent work opportunities and support they need to develop their expertise in the ways that we measure it.
Of course, there are exceptions.
We have tested some lawyers who are highly expert in their areas of legal specialisation, but who are not what you might call "nice" in a client or colleague-friendly sense. While we haven’t formally studied this phenomenon, we theorise that these lawyers are so good at what they do that clients and employers/colleagues are willing to put up with their eccentricities and challenging personalities.
What are Meisterline Index ratings bands?
There are six Meisterline Index ratings bands. While individual ratings can be used to compare lawyers in an ordinal sense, ratings bands offer qualitative information about the cognitive abilities and traits of lawyers as they progress as legal specialists. This information can be useful when identifying individual lawyers for specific tasks or as members of larger project teams. It also highlights the areas where support for further professional development can be focused. These bands are discussed further on our Ratings page.
I’m a lawyer. How can I assess myself using the Meisterline Index confidentially and for free?
You want a Meisterline Index Self-Assessment as described on our Services page. Go to that page and you’ll find links that will lead you through the whole process from completing the correct Assessment Form for your jurisdiction and area of law, to receiving your Self-Assessment and then deciding whether you want more feedback in the form of a Meisterline Index Development Report and a Meisterline Index Rating Certificate. These further documents, which are paid services, are also described on our Services page.
Meisterline Index Self-Assessments are free. How much do Meisterline Index Development Reports and Meisterline Index Rating Certificates cost?
See the Table of Services at the bottom of our Services page.
How long does it take to complete an Assessment Form and get a Meisterline Index Self-Assessment, Development Report and Rating Certificate?
Completing an Assessment Form, which is the necessary first step to getting the above documents, commonly takes around 30 minutes, though sometimes shorter and sometimes longer depending on the individual lawyer. From an analytical perspective, this metric is wholly irrelevant and we do not record how long it takes a lawyer to complete this form.
To find out how long it currently takes us to complete our analyses of an Assessment Form after it has been submitted, please check our current response time as noted in the Timeframe section at the bottom of our Services page.