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Consumer legal site Avvo to launch tomorrow?

AVVO Consumer Legal SiteWord on the street, can’t say whether physical here in Seattle or on the blogosphere, is that Avvo is coming out of stealth mode tomorrow.

Avvo, which raised $13 million in venture capital, says it’s dedicated to helping consumers better navigate the highly confusing legal industry, and that they are building something that no one else has built before.

Headed by CEO Mark Britton, a former Executive Vice President of Expedia, VP of Products and Marketing, Paul Bloom, formerly Senior Director of New Product Marketing at Classmates Online, and VP of Development, Sendi Widjaja, former Senior Director of Development at Expedia, I expect Avvo to deliver a credible solution.

Avvo, while only in stealth mode, has already generated some buzz in the Seattle community, including that from John Cook at the Seattle PI and myself. Now that Avvo is public, it will be an interesting few months to see how lawyers and the public respond to Avvo’s solution.


Tim Stanley calls Avvo the Apple Computer of law services (meaning that in a good way) with the great job they did of keeping their solution secret.

Currently neither TechCrunch Attorney Michael Arrington nor ValleyWag has info on the new Avvo site… yet… so confirmation is a leak away. We may even need to wait until the press conference, press release (and launch party) when it comes out tomorrow (?).

Tim’s guess:

…lawyer directory with maps, maybe with consumer legal information to draw people in. Then add a referral program where lawyers can login and get leads. But I really have no idea.

Anonymous lawyer’s guess (well versed on online delivery of legal services) via email this afternoon:

  • They have compiled a list of all the USA attorneys
  • Linked it to a Microsoft Virtual earth map
  • Prepared a triage system to identify many conceivable things one would access a lawyer for
  • Research a pricing matrix for the type of work and present the clients with an understanding of what will be done for what cost
  • Link that to a local firm
  • Have a rating system for firms used (web 2.0 community approach)
  • Have an ability for law firm to add information to their profile page
  • Offer lawyers the ability to add info and communicate with prospective clients
  • Monetize from law firms — eventually once they become the law “search engine” with ads and referrals

Anyone’s guess, though not sure it will be national right away as local testing for key markets has been involved.

Bob Coffield did point out Avvo is short for “Avvocato,” which is lawyer in Italian. Makes sense in that Mark Britton, Avvo’s CEO, hid out in Italy for a year after leaving Expedia and came up with name while on a bike ride near Puglia, Italy

Howard Schultz spent some time in Italy observing their espresso-bar culture before founding Seattle based Starbucks. Think Britton can put a law shop on every corner of the Internet?

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