Avvo Corp., launched a website on June 5, 2007, that professedly “rates and profiles every lawyer so you can choose the right lawyer”. Avvo’s website has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere and the company is already facing a class action lawsuit filed by lawyers rankled by the rankings.
What is the big fuss? Some are concerned that the ratings are arbitrary and are not representative of a lawyer’s legal experience, skills, or reputation. Testing has also revealed some strange flaws in the new system: One article states:
“In tests, however, Avvo’s pages seemed to be riddled with bizarre errors, profiles of attorneys who have been dead for more than a century and inexplicable scores in which some felons received better ratings than law school deans and internationally renowned litigators.”
I “Avvoed” myself and found that I have a “no concern” rating. I did not see a 1 – 10 rating for myself so I took a look at a few other attorneys: Alan Nochumson had a 6.5/10 score. Michael Hayes had a 6.0/10 score. What these scores mean? I’m not quite sure. I “Avvoed” Abe Lincoln–and he definitely has a profile, though its looks suspiciously like a joke.
Avvo is for lawyers what Expedia and Travelocity are for hotels: rankings and an opportunity for customer commentary. Is this a bad idea? I’m not sure how many clients will be looking to Avvo for advice on which lawyer to hire–and I don’t know how many people will really take this site seriously, at least not in its early stages. But I definitely find the concept interesting–and actually a little fun. Avvo seems to have some aspects that are similar to LinkedIn, in that attorneys can manage their own profile and request peer endorsements and client ratings. I am going to claim my profile and add some more information to see what happens to my lawyer rating. If anything happens, I will let you know.