Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

New Avvo account rated 5/10, WTF?

Started a solo practice, made an Avvo account, and created a saulgoodmanwannabe01/25/17
You can request for them to hide the rating. supesnation01/25/17
How much does that cost? triplesix01/25/17
Surprisingly, nothing. supesnation01/25/17
Avvo is your Uber, start forking over a share of your cashfl triplesix01/25/17
My wife got in a giant fight with Avvo over this. If you ha jd4hire01/25/17
Avvo is similar to online criminal records scum, everyone fe triplesix01/25/17
That's crappy. I thought Avvo assigned everyone a 6.7 when t 3lol01/25/17
so i pay them their $49 or whatever a month, my rating goes saulgoodmanwannabe01/25/17
Google "how to increase my avvo rating" (i.e., https://www.m mrtor01/25/17
Well part of what increases your profile is simply filing ou cocolawyer01/25/17
Your biggest mistake was claiming your Avvo profile. ruralattorney01/25/17
This. Avvo is trash. They cold call me every few weeks try tdkerabatsos01/25/17
http://www.abajournal.com/news/arti cle/super_lawyers_and_ris hopelesslyunemployed01/25/17
This ransom model originated with the Better Business Bureau jeffm01/25/17
I like Avvo. There I said it. My score is "over 8" let's s bigbossman01/25/17
There are no doubt benefits to be had for those who care to jeffm01/26/17
The simple answer for those who don't want to play ball is t mrtor01/26/17
Here's a recent article explaining the conflict of interest jeffm01/26/17
All good points. I would be curious to learn more about how mrtor01/27/17
saulgoodmanwannabe (Jan 25, 2017 - 12:01 pm)

Started a solo practice, made an Avvo account, and created a profile. Automatically, Avvo assigns me a 5/10 rating even though I haven't had a single case or client, been disciplined, screwed anything up, etc. This effectively ruins my career since 99% of clients will use the internet to find attorneys.

What's with assigning a new attorney such a sh;t rating? Why can't they make a "not yet rated" rating instead of telling potential clients who don't understand how Avvo works that I'm only a 5/10?

Reply Like (0)
supesnation (Jan 25, 2017 - 12:06 pm)

You can request for them to hide the rating.

Reply Like (0)
triplesix (Jan 25, 2017 - 12:16 pm)

How much does that cost?

Reply Like (0)
supesnation (Jan 25, 2017 - 12:32 pm)

Surprisingly, nothing.

Reply Like (0)
triplesix (Jan 25, 2017 - 12:17 pm)

Avvo is your Uber, start forking over a share of your cashflow.

Reply Like (0)
jd4hire (Jan 25, 2017 - 1:00 pm)

My wife got in a giant fight with Avvo over this. If you have them hide your rating, it will have a large banner stating something along the effect of "This user has requested that their rating not be shown." Query what is worse, a 5/10 or the disclaimer.

I got in a fight with them on Twitter as they continually called my old firm trying to solicit our business. I ultimately got a call from their GC, who took us off all lists. When discussing the rating issue at my old firm, numerous attorneys were of the opinion that they could be susceptible to suit based on what their rating system. They publish information that has no basis in fact and could impact your business. Libel/ tortious interference. It would be hard, but if you found someone who said "well, I initially didn't go with you because of your Avvo rating..."

File a class action on part of all other 5/10 individuals and strike it rich!

Reply Like (0)
triplesix (Jan 25, 2017 - 1:04 pm)

Avvo is similar to online criminal records scum, everyone feels it ain't right but no one has yet to do anything about it waiting for someone else to handle while everyone is getting clowned. I am starting to think those people have a solid business model.

Reply Like (0)
3lol (Jan 25, 2017 - 2:06 pm)

That's crappy. I thought Avvo assigned everyone a 6.7 when they had no basis for rating. Also, I feel like people have unsuccessfully tried to sue Avvo before and lost, but I might be thinking of something else.

In any event, they're complete scum. It's basically blackmail for lawyers to pay for their stupid service.

Reply Like (0)
saulgoodmanwannabe (Jan 25, 2017 - 2:27 pm)

so i pay them their $49 or whatever a month, my rating goes up?

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jan 25, 2017 - 2:31 pm)

Google "how to increase my avvo rating" (i.e., https://www.majux.com/guide-reaching-1010-avvo-com-lawyers/). I know a lot of scummy attorneys who have achieved a 9-10/10. Great attorneys who were apathetic about it have gotten trashed. It's all a game -- you simply need to know how to play it right. Completely fill out your profile, including speaking engagements, publications, and awards. If you don't have enough to fill all of that out, get busy. You can usually publish and speak through the local bar associations. Do it once every couple of years and you're golden. Contact some law school buddies or attorneys you're friendly with to coordinate peer reviews and help each other out. Client reviews can be tougher if you are a new solo with few success stories. If that's the case, do a couple wills for family members with different last names (so you're not "that guy" with a mom review) and have them provide a write up. The name of the game is participation. It's annoying, but it doesn't take that long to get a decent rating. Don't even bother fighting it, you won't win.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 25, 2017 - 3:55 pm)

Well part of what increases your profile is simply filing out everything in your profile. Paying them helps your exposure not your rating.

Reply Like (0)
ruralattorney (Jan 25, 2017 - 4:00 pm)

Your biggest mistake was claiming your Avvo profile.

Reply Like (0)
tdkerabatsos (Jan 25, 2017 - 4:08 pm)

This. Avvo is trash. They cold call me every few weeks trying to get me to claim my profile. Straight to voicemail, every time.

Reply Like (0)
hopelesslyunemployed (Jan 25, 2017 - 4:32 pm)

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/super_lawyers_and_rising_stars_are_warned_about_accolade_advertising/

from nj

Reply Like (0)
jeffm (Jan 25, 2017 - 7:38 pm)

This ransom model originated with the Better Business Bureau.

Reply Like (0)
bigbossman (Jan 25, 2017 - 8:30 pm)

I like Avvo. There I said it. My score is "over 8" let's say but yeah, should be a lot higher. So I get the anger that comes from their scoring policies.

That said check this out: I have never paid them a penny. Yet, I #1 have taken maybe 5 credits worth of their state-approved online CLEs, and #2 just got a $3,000 fee on a criminal case that came from using Avvo.

So as you see there are some positives that can come from using Avvo, free CLE and actual paying clients two examples. Why not stick with it? You can almost surely raise a 5/10 score using the tips in this thread (fully fill out your profile is a biggie). If you understand what they offer there's some real benefit to be realized.

Reply Like (0)
jeffm (Jan 26, 2017 - 1:29 pm)

There are no doubt benefits to be had for those who care to give it a certain amount of attention. But for those who don't want to give it the time of day, AVVO should just leave those people alone. It shouldn't adopt fictitious scoring based on an attorney's non-responsiveness to their site. That's not playing fair. That's malicious greed.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jan 26, 2017 - 2:15 pm)

The simple answer for those who don't want to play ball is to avoid claiming your profile. Once you bite, you're going to have to play their game. Avvo's metrics are a joke -- I won't defend them for a second. However, I don't think they're being greedy when you can increase your rating without paying a dime and still reap the benefits of their marketing. It's absurd to take a principled stand against spending an hour or two filling out your profile, especially given the benefits that flow from that kind of marketing.

Smart attorneys will exploit Avvo for their own benefit with little or no cost. Those who suffer from it do so out of apathy. And few people want to hire an apathetic lawyer.

Reply Like (0)
jeffm (Jan 26, 2017 - 5:03 pm)

Here's a recent article explaining the conflict of interest AVVO has with the consuming public it says it represents:

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ethics_opinion_on_fee_sharing_is_bad_news_for_avvos_legal_referral_service

Relevant excerpt:

______________________________________________________________________________________________
Ethics opinion on fee-sharing is bad news for Avvo Legal Services
POSTED AUG 11, 2016 03:12 PM CDT

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

... (omitted part about South Carolina's AG issuing an advisory opinion that attorneys who pay referral fees to AVVO are violating legal rules of ethics)

King (Avvo’s chief legal officer) says Avvo Legal Services is a “marketplace,” rather than a referral service, and the fees paid by lawyers to Avvo “scale very directly” with the costs incurred by Avvo. The costs of legal services provided through the marketplace range from $39 to $4,000, and that results in different credit card fees and different risks in the event of refunds, King says.

The ethics rules, King adds, should be interpreted based on potential consumer harm, and lawyer advertising rules should be narrowly tailored to avoid First Amendment violations. “We really built the product looking at the consumer benefit and trying to navigate through the rules,” he said.

When ethics regulators construe ethics rules, consumer harm “should be inquiry No. 1,” King asserts. The ethics opinion is “unfortunate in that it doesn’t consider any consumer benefits.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

OK. So, let's try and distinguish fees paid for advertising/marketing from fees paid for referrals. Advertising is something you do in hopes you receive a referral - like TV ads and internet ads. You don't pay ABC and CBS money only when the customer signs a contract with you. King's point 1 is bogus.

As the article notes, the S.C. Attorney General points out that AVVO is getting a "per service marketing fee.” "Per service," as I understand it, means you are charged a fee when the client signs up to use your services. "Variable" means the fee charged is in proportion to the type of service offered. I presume, "more service" means "bigger fee" as King impliedly points out that you can't get big referral fees from $39 powers of attorney. Of course, his flip-side argument is that the risk of refunding larger amounts is greater, thus justifying a bigger referral fee.

Now, pay close attention to King's billing of how "consumer harm" should be "inquiry number 1" when interpreting the rules. Here, AVVO is holding itself out as a tool for the benefit of the public. His premise is that the public is better served by AVVO because its aim is to match qualified attorneys with qualified consumers. This is especially the case because AVVO has its own built-in policing and ranking system (clients can complain and write reviews, etc.). The public is practically, if not actually, led to believe AVVO is a neutral.

However, on the one hand, clients can complain, but on the other hand, the weight of those complaints within AVVO's own ranking system is inversely proportional to AVVO's earnings from the subject attorney.

These conflicts of interest occur all the time. They are largely accepted. Stock-brokers get bigger commissions for peddling certain stocks, etc. It's just the way it is. There is nothing illegal about it, but it has some short-comings, for sure.

You said the attorneys who get the short end are less attentive and the public doesn't want those attorneys. I see the other side as well. Attorneys who pay AVVO don't have to be as good as a vast number of very well-qualified attorneys who don't. The pay-to-play model gives you an edge. You say it weeds-out the less attentive, and I say it promotes the less-qualified (although there are no-doubt minimum standards which must be maintained by the people who pay to play).

It's an interesting business model, for sure.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jan 27, 2017 - 10:26 am)

All good points. I would be curious to learn more about how widespread Avvo fee-sharing is. I haven't come across anyone who has admittedly paid Avvo a fee yet. Most of the people I've talked to view it as more of a verification/review site than a direct referral site. People check up on an attorney before contacting his/her office.

It's a scam, but it's an easy scam to play and the benefits are definitely worth the relatively minimal investment of time.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread