Lawyer-rating site Avvo expands this week to Massachusetts and Florida, bringing its coverage to 60 percent of licensed U.S. attorneys and spanning 11 states and the District of Columbia. Launched in June 2007, Avvo’s goal is to serve as a consumer resource by rating and profiling every U.S. lawyer. Initially, I was somewhat skeptical of Avvo, expressing concern when it launched that it could mislead rather than guide consumers. But as it has refined its ratings and responded to concerns raised by the legal community, I’ve become a convert. In fact, I’ve provided the company with a “testimonial” to use this week in announcing its expansion.
Avvo officially launches in Mass. and Florida on April 2. 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.
You can see all my prior posts about Avvo at this link. I also co-author Legal Blog Watch for Law.com, where my colleague Carolyn Elefant and I have posted about Avvo frequently. You can find those posts through this Google search. Lastly, on the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer that I co-host along with blogger J. Craig Williams, we have had two episodes about Avvo, one on July 11, 2007, in which we interviewed Avvo’s founders, President and CEO Mark Britton and VP of Products & Marketing Paul Bloom, and one on June 18, 2007, in which we discussed Avvo’s launch with guests John Henry Browne, the Seattle attorney who was a plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against Avvo (since dismissed), the aforementioned Carolyn Elefant, and Denise Howell, author of the blog Bag and Baggage.