Avvo lawyer directory expanding to Mass and Florida

AvvoPicked up from Bob Ambrogi this morning that the lawyer-rating site Avvo is expanding to Massachusetts and Florida, bringing its coverage to 60 percent of licensed U.S. attorneys and spanning 11 states and the District of Columbia.

Like Bob, I was originally skeptical of Avvo’s goal of serving as a consumer resource by rating and profiling every U.S. lawyer. But as I have gotten to know Mark Britton, Avvo’s CEO, and watched the site in action, there’s no question Avvo serves as a worthwhile resource not only for people looking for a lawyer, but also for lawyers looking for a cost effective way to connect with prospective clients.

Bob provides a nice summary of the Avvo service.

The site operates by collecting information about lawyers from multiple sources — bar records (including disciplinary sanctions), court records, Web sites and the lawyers themselves — and assigning each lawyer a rating of one to 10. For lawyers for whom only minimal information is publicly available, Avvo provides no rating but labels them as either ‘Attention’ or ‘No Concern.’ Lawyers can ‘claim’ their own profiles and add information about themselves and also request peer endorsements and client ratings.

Avvo also includes Avvo Answers, a forum in which consumers can ask questions and lawyers can post answers with links back to their profiles. In addition to Massachusetts and Florida, its profiles now cover lawyers in Arizona, California, D.C., George, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

More than the Avvo ratings, reviews from lawyers and past clients posted to the site are a huge plus for consumers. I can’t imagine buying a product or service these days without doing research on the Internet. I’m particularly interested in reviews of the service or product from people like me. Heck, that’s why I thought Amazon was so cool when I first saw it 13 years ago.

Look at this review page of Kirkland, WA divorce lawyer, Araceli Amaya. In addition to the basic info on years of practice and emphasis of her work, look at these reviews by past clients.

  • Araceli Amaya was a great relief to me after I had spent useless time and money for a previous attorney who did little for me overall. Araceli was always quick to respond to my question, was thorough and, in the end, saved me over $5000.00 that the previous attorney would have, undoubtedly missed. I would highly recommend her as an honest representative in any divorce proceeding.
  • Araceli was very attentive to my case, worked hard, great results. Very responsive, well experienced, great leadership skills. I would most definitely recommend Araceli to any one needing a family law attorney.
  • She is very professional and knows her law, especially dealing with the military. She is patient and can be trusted to not only get the job done, but done the right way with a first time go.

Each of her reviewers gave Amaya 5 out of 5 stars on the four areas Avvo seeks past client feedback.

  • Trustworthy
  • Responsive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Kept me informed

That type of information and review runs laps around the lawyer bio’s on Marindale-Hubbell’s consumer site, lawyers.com. And Avvo is a free service for lawyers.

People do not ask you as a lawyer where you want to law school and undergrad. They don’t care what award you received 15 years ago. People looking for a lawyer want to know what you can do for them and whether you’ll be trustworthy, responsive, and keep them informed. And they want that info from people like them.

I’ve heard the same bull crap for years. The outcome of one person’s case is not indicative of the next so we cannot allow client review of lawyers. People are not knowledgeable enough to know whether a lawyer is any good. Past clients will just criticize lawyers so we cannot allow clients to speak up on websites like Avvo’s. Bunk.

People are entitled to information on lawyers. They can take Avvo’s info on a lawyer into consideration with any other info they have on a lawyer. The more information people have on lawyers the better – for both the public and our legal profession.

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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