Avvo is beginning to roll out a service that offers fixed-fee, limited-scope legal services through a network of attorneys.

The service, Avvo Legal Services, offers a variety of limited-scope legal services at a fixed fee. The services range from review of legal documents such as business contracts and non-disclosure agreements to more involved matters such as uncontested divorces and citizenship applications.

Last year, Avvo launched Avvo Advisor, a service that provides on-demand legal advice by phone for a fixed fee of $39 for 15 minutes.

Avvo is currently offering the new Avvo Legal Services in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix, according to an FAQ on Avvo’s website. According to an email I received from Avvo inviting me to enroll, the service will launch in my state of Massachusetts in mid-February. The Avvo website says that the service will be expanding to new areas quickly.

Avvo sets the services to be provided and the prices. Attorneys who sign up for the service can choose which services they want to offer. When a client buys the service, Avvo sends the client’s information to the attorney. The attorney then contacts the client directly and completes the service.

Clients will be within the attorney’s geographic area and are able to choose the attorney they want to work with. They pay the full price for the service up front.

After the service is completed, Avvo sends the attorney the full legal fee. (Fees are paid once a month.) As a separate transaction, the attorney pays Avvo a per-service marketing fee. This is done as a separate transaction to avoid fee-splitting.

The email provided these examples of services and fees:

  • Document review services: $199 client payment, $50 marketing fee.
  • Start a single-member LLC: $595 client payment, $125 marketing fee.
  • Uncontested divorce: $995 client payment, $200 marketing fee.
  • Green card application: $2,995 client payment, $400 marketing fee.

The terms of the service require attorneys to contact a new client within one business day for a 30-minute introductory call. If the attorney determines the client is not the right fit, the attorney can decline the representation.

There is no cost for attorneys to participate except for the per-case marketing fee.

More information about the service can be found here.


    • Bob Ambrogi

      You raise important issues in your post. I hope others will read it and consider the points you discuss.

    • RBXChas

      I just read your blog post. Excellent read. This just came about in SC, and I got an e-mail about it last week. It didn’t sit right with me, so I ignored it. Apparently I must not have been the only one in my state because it looks like someone asked the ethics committee to review it. Today I saw this in an advance sheet update from the bar:


      I sent it to Avvo, and it’s clear by their reply that they don’t think it applies to them because they don’t believe they are a referral service. Meanwhile, the opinion linked above refers to their specific “service fees” such that it is highly unlikely to be any other company. Avvo also defended the arrangement by saying that sending the attorney the entire fee means that it’s not fee splitting, but the opinion addresses (and shoots down) that argument directly. Lastly, Avvo seems to think that because it is not a binding opinion, I should more or less ignore it, which is a compelling argument to present to the SC Supreme Court, right?

  • Here is why Avvo is a joke. They charge $39 for 15 minutes, and that’s 2 MONTHS of LegalShield membership! They charge $199 for document review and THAT IS INCLUDED IN OUR MEMBERSHIP OF $17.95/month! They charge $595 for uncontested divorce and THAT IS INCLUDED IN OUR MEMBERSHIP OF $17.95/month! #uberoflegalservices

    • Bob Ambrogi

      As I read the LegalShield website, what’s included depends on which state you’re in. For example, in my state of Massachusetts, I do not see uncontested divorce as included under any of the plans. Some other states I checked include it only under higher-priced plans. So I assume a potential subscriber needs to read the fine print. Also, when I tried to download the PDF of the full contract for Massachusetts, I got a 404 not found message.

  • Bob, it is the $19.95 plan. My apologies. You cannot be divorced if you are single. That’s on my that you were looking at the individual/single plan looking for uncontested divorce. By “Higher-Priced,” you mean the $2 more for the $19.95 family plan, which includes uncontested divorce. I will investigate the 404 error. and will revert. Jeff Bell

  • Bob, the broken link on our website for downloading all member agreements has been fixed. Thank you! I hope you have not missed the meta-point: Avvo is lead generation and advertising platform on top of the old business model — high cost of services to citizens. We are not the same. We use crowd-sharing (collective purchasing power) to RETAIN law firms to provide services at a much more accessible cost — either included in the subscription (speeding ticket) or at a discounted hourly rate (DUI). Jeff Bell