Because of my public criticism of Avvo, and their defective rating system, I get a lot of comments about them. A brief summary of my crticism is that it’s biased against small and solo firms because larger firms have greater wherewithal to manage the extremely cumbersome Avvo profile process, and because Avvo won’t let an attorney “unclaim” a profile after “claiming” it (i.e., you can’t “unsubscribe).
Frankly, I don’t care whether I’m removed from Avvo or not, or whether Avvo exists or not. I just want to “unclaim” my profile. Avvo has a really sleazy operation. You can read my prior criticisms by searching Avvo in this blog or on Google. Some of the latest criticism, which was posted as a comment to an earlier posting, is from a law office which states that:
“I was suspended in 1996. Yet due to computers I can never get away from that. It shows up on the profile in bright red and as much as tells everyone that I must be no good. So, no matter how good a lawyer I am I will never get away from having been suspended. It is the one and only item that I am clearly rated on. Today I had another lawyer indicate that he would disclose my suspension in court. I have heard it a thousand times and I am mostly protected by Rule 404 of Evidence, but not on this site. I like to think that I have many good qualities that cannot be reduced to a red-ink sentence on the website. I need to get off of AVVO.”
The problem, as I indicated, is that once you’re on Avvo, you’re stuck. There’s no way to “unclaim” your profile. That’s just plain sleazy.
Additionally, the attorney emailed me the following additional comment:
“I talked to AVVO and to their general counsel. They were adamant. Therefore I have changed my profile in every way. It is all still true, just not likely to direct possible clients to me. I used an older picture that makes me look like I am raising kids. (They are all in college.) I listed my job with one of my small development companies. Again, true. I took out my phone and shortened my address. Maybe this will distance me from AVVO.”
What I find really interesting about this comment is that it appears that there may be a way to game Avvo. I haven’t tried this, because I don’t visit Avvo and I can no longer access my account (I wonder why ), but if you put false information in your profile you might be able to drive your score down to zero or ten and maybe render the profile superfluous and unbelievable.