Update Regarding Avvo & Their Defective & Biased Attorney Rating System

15
Feb
2010
Posted by: charlesakrugel  /   Category: Business Management / Charles Krugel / Practicing Law / Starting a Law Practice   /   53 Comments »
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Evidently, there are more attorneys and members of the public who are disappointed and upset with Avvo’s attorney rating system.  I won’t link to Avvo here because I’m not interested in driving traffic to their site.  Some visitors to my site get here by using Avvo related searches linking to my posts from a couple of years ago that are critical of Avvo.  You can read those posts here.

In summary, Avvo asks attorneys to “claim” their attorney profile by completing a profile much like that on LinkedIn or Facebook.  However, unlike any other online networking site, which permits you to cancel your membership and erase your information, Avvo doesn’t permit this.  Once an attorney “claims” their profile, they’re stuck; it can’t be “unclaimed.”

Yesterday, I received two emails from an attorney in another state who wishes to remain anonymous (without substantially editing, I combined the two emails into one:

Mr. Krugel,

I’m an attorney in Timbuktu. After claiming my AVVO profile, I immediately realized that this company is running a scam.  I did some internet searches and came up with your website.  After an attorney gave me an endorsement, I rated a mere 6.4 by some arbitrary computer algorithm. I than realized that attorneys with 10/10’s basically circle-jerk each other with endorsements to get those high ratings. I don’t know enough attorney’s who have claimed their profile to have them endorse me, and I can’t in good conscious subject other unknowing lawyers to claim their profile and endure computer generated defamation. Have you figured out any way to unclaim a profile and/or get rid of their arbitrary rankings? I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of this artificially low rating without being unethical.

Eventually I can foresee other lawyers bringing a new lawsuit on different grounds against the company.   Their 1-10 ranking system seems arbitrary, and goes beyond mere opinion because a computer is assigning the number.   AVVO isn’t going into the legal community and asking other lawyers and judges about individual attorneys.  They give you a low rating and then it’s up to you to “recruit” people onto AVVO to endorse you. The whole thing seems wrong.

The “scam” aspect referred to is new to me, but it appears that they’re correct.  Furthermore, Avvo’s system is biased against solo and small firm attorneys because completing a profile on Avvo, including obtaining testimonials, takes many hours.  If you don’t put the hours into this endeavor, your attorney score (rating) remains low.  Solos and small firms don’t have the overhead to handle this.  Larger firms can have their administrative staff, clerks, paralegals, etc., do this work for them.

Also, we have to solicit the testimonials, but based on my understanding of AVVO’s system, the people providing these testimonials have to create some sort of an account and provide AVVO with personal information.  This was one of my motivations for creating my own “Client Testimonials” page.

My main beef with Avvo though is the fact that they won’t let me and other attorneys “unclaim” our profiles.  Personally, I could care less that they have me listed on their site, I just don’t want it indicated that I “claimed” my profile, when in fact, I disavow it and Avvo’s system.

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53 Comments

  1. charlesakrugel February 18, 2010 at 10:57 am  / 

    You misrepresent my criticism of you guys. I don’t care whether you exist or not; I’m indifferent. Also, I could care less that I’m listed on you site. I just “wish” that I could “unclaim” my profile. That’s the key. You hold people who don’t want to be involved with you hostage by not permitting them to “unclaim” their profile. I said so in the posts you link to. By doing this, you’re being sleazy and probably unethical.

    Charles Krugel

  2. Ohio personal injury lawyer February 22, 2010 at 4:33 am  / 

    Another cool post. Looking forward to more of your writings

  3. NC Lawyer June 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm  / 

    I have a high rating on AVVO—it was 10.0 last year, and is close to that this year. Based on my admittedly limited experience, I think the rating changes on or about January 1. I also think my rating was high in part because I had a lot of “extracurricular” thinks on my profile—volunteer work for a professional association, volunteer work for a charity, and membership in Superlawyers and Best Lawyers. My rating went down on or about January 1 and then went back up after I updated it with my 2010 stuff. I have no lawyer to lawyer referrals on the profile, but I have given a couple. I do have 2 or 3 client recommendations on the site. My conclusion is that the algorithm is fairly sophisticated, and things like volunteer work and “Superlawyers” seem to matter to it.

  4. charlesakrugel June 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm  / 

    Thanks for your comments. My key issues with Avvo remain the same. They don’t let you “unclaim” a profile, and it takes a lot more time than it’s worth to complete a substantive profile.

  5. Robert O. Harker June 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm  / 

    I have a complaint re AVVO which might be new to you. I have a disciplinary record with the State Bar of California, and I voluntarily resigned my Bar membership in November, 1986. However, I petitioned for reinstatement in 2000, my petition resulted in a trial before the State Bar Court; the Judge issued a multi page decision showing a number of facts supporting my claim that I was fully rehabilitated and recommending that I be reinstated. That decision was approved by the California Supreme Court in the Spring of 2001 and effective May 23, 2001, I was permitted to the active practice of law. I have been actively practicing full time since then.
    Now, I find that AVVO has given me a rating “extreme caution” and published it—anyone seeking a Pasadena conservator attorney thru Google will find me including AVVO’s “extreme caution” rating. When I complained to AVVO I was informed that they used a mathematical model which is completely objective, so they would not change it. Since then they sent me an email stating that they might respond favorably if I would give them more information.
    “Extreme caution” is not ever used by the State Bar, so a potential client may well infer that it means “stay away from this lawyer.” This is an economic disaster for me, but I am reluctant after reviewing your comments re AVVO to deal directly with them. Have you heard of AVVO doing this before.
    I will greatly appreciate your reply.
    Thanks,
    Robert O. Harker

  6. Linda Eckerman October 9, 2010 at 10:52 am  / 

    I have a different problem with AVVO. I am a paralegal, and this makes me ineligible to comment in any capacity on AVVO. They only allow other attorneys or clients to support an attorney who has been trashed.
    Paralegals work with everyone involved in a case and know whether they are working with a good or a bad attorney.
    We have a child’s attorney on a case that still hasn’t ended after 2 1/2 years because the Petitioner, who is also an attorney, has filed in every court available to him to draw out the case (he does bankruptcies – in a terrible economy – and somehow managed to go bankrupt himself anyway; and he filed in Appellate Court).
    There was an entry a year ago on AVVO that I strongly suspect was the Petitioner/Lawyer on the other side of our case posing as a client so he could get back at the children’s attorney for representing them instead of him. She asked if we would post an honest account of her representation of our client’s children, and as her representation had been excellent, I went online to try to rate her.
    It appears AVVO is not interested in a paralegal’s opinion, because I couldn’t post a rating without a bar number.
    I propound all of the discovery for the office, I do financial analyses, do much of the research, write briefs, Points and Authorities, so many client declarations I lost count years ago. I am in contact with other law offices and their work product, and know who is and who is not a good attorney in our area.
    AVVO couldn’t care less because I am not an attorney.
    I would be interested to hear your opinion of this.

  7. charlesakrugel October 11, 2010 at 10:51 am  / 

    Thanks for your remarks. Your comments aren’t surprising. It’s disappointing and sleazy that Avvo puts up so many barriers for meaningful dialogue and debate. Obviously, this is a marketing driven organization that skimps on the quality of its content; they probably don’t care about content. As I’ve said before, Avvo is a very sleazy product. In theory, it’s good, in reality it’s bad.

  8. Emily November 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm  / 

    What I want to know is why Google is lending Avvo such legitimacy and credibility by prominently featuring the Avvo “rating” on their business listings. I’m all for shining a light into the shadows, and I surely needed all the help I could get to choose a reputable lawyer when I needed one. But I don’t think Avvo is it.

    I don’t think their current business model even allows them to be an unbiased source of information. For “unclaimed” listings, they just provide this arbitrary rating, with no substantive information about the lawyer. I’m not asking for their rating algorithm, but if they have gathered enough information to make this decision, why can’t they share some of that information with the people who are coming to their website looking for help in choosing a lawyer. Then they provide all kinds of information about lawyers with “claimed” listings, but it’s all information controlled by the lawyer. How is that unbiased?

    Additionally, if I want to review a lawyer, I’m supposed to sign up for their website, and I have no choice but to receive email “newsletters” from them. Well, I do have some choice, I can choose to receive the Legal newsletter or the Health newsletter. I really don’t know anyone who wants more junk mail, so that’s a serious barrier to getting clients to review their lawyers. Which makes the website less useful for me. And since the lawyers who are participating in these “peer endorsements” are presumably already receiving their obligatory newsletter, there’s no barrier at all to their scratching one another’s backs. Which also makes the website less useful for me.

    Avvo comes off like all the rest of these scam websites out there that aggregate personal information from various public record sources and then try to coerce people into “claiming” their profile so that they can have “control” of their information. And like Avvo, once you’ve joined the party, you’re stuck there. The whole concept has a really sleazy feel, and it gives me a high level of distrust about Avvo’s information and their so-called rating system. And Avvo Blog’s unprofessional and juvenile comment to this post surely reinforces that impression!

    So that brings my back to my original question – why in the world is Google, with its unparalleled reputation for helping people find the information they need, promoting this company?

  9. A Shockey December 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm  / 

    I am not a practicing attorney so I really don’t care if AVVO has my profile up, but this minor piece of data (ie there is nothing to rate me on if I am not practicing) doesn’t seem to matter to Customer Care Manager. I thought this would be a simple and quick call, pointing out that every piece of factual data (jd year, law school, current employment, past employment, under grad) was incorrect–oh and by the way I haven’t been licensed to practice law for 4 years because I haven’t practiced for 7, so just take me off. But, she tried to press me to simply correct their errors–STILL getting my law school wrong from the state bar (where is she looking?). In case these pieces of information help someone fighting a more difficult rating complaint, thought I would share. I don’t appreciate having an inaccurrate, unsupported AVVO rating out there–whether it impacts my current profession or not. If they are this ridiculously incompetent on my profile, then I can only guess that it simple data inaccuracies are rampant across their entire profile ratings.

  10. charlesakrugel December 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm  / 

    Thanks for your comments Amber. I agree with you. If Avvo is mistaken on your profile, they’re probably wrong on other profiles too. Also, like you, I don’t care if Avvo has my info. posted or not. I just want it indicated that my profile isn’t “claimed” by me. It’s sleazy that an attorney can’t “unclaim” their profile. In all of Avvo’s responses to me, they completely ignore that point.

  11. Santos Reed January 10, 2011 at 8:02 am  / 

    Stop crying, Avvo is a great place for clients to finally fight back from these egotistical, arrogant, attorneys. Attorneys claim their profile, but as soon as they get the first bad client review or bad rating you start crying and blogging like babies, wanting to cancel your membership and erase your information. For so many years clients had to put up with these tunnel vision, self absorbed attorneys and now thanks to Avvo, we can let the world know.

  12. charlesakrugel January 10, 2011 at 8:20 am  / 

    Thanks for your comments, but you missed my key point. Once you claim an Avvo profile, you can’t “unclaim” it. I’ve never asked Avvo to take down my profile, just to unclaim it. It’s a sleazy way to do business.

  13. JimDandyToTheRescue January 11, 2011 at 3:54 am  / 

    Avvo is big on the declining score bit, mentioned in an earlier post. Avvo has recently re-stated that if you do not put new information in your profile on a regular basis then it means your Industry Recognition and Experience may go down.

    So, to prevent this: 1) write content for them in the form of guides and answers and 2) bring them new clients that can endorse you.

    Avvo really isn’t good for new lawyers because the new lawyer’s experience will never be sufficient to prevent the Experience and Industry Recognition from declining w/o updates for probably around 7-10 years (based on my examination of my friend’s profiles and how their ratings changed based on what we did.)

    So, during that time, the new lawyer has to keep providing Avvo with information and clients. Since new lawyers will have it harder getting speaking engagements and articles published, providing Avvo the free content and traffic is the best way for them to keep their ratings up.

    I wouldn’t have any problems with them if they were more transparent. Unclaiming profiles should be allowed too. Personally, I don’t consider the executives and directors to be individuals of high moral character because they play “gotcha” with their clients.

  14. Jack January 15, 2011 at 8:09 am  / 

    The above is exactly correct. Avvo raised my rating up to about 9.4 then knocked it down to 7.6 for no reason other than I was not roping in new clients for them. On top of that I was actually paying the fools for an ad, so I cancelled that when I realized how inept they are. The 3500 questions I answered for their visitors apparently was irrelevant to the SEO gurus as Avvos. They are in this their profit and this has nothing to do with rating attorneys or doctors’s abilities.

    There is nothing wrongh with SEO BUT is should not be masquerading as an attorney rating service.

  15. FL lawyer February 16, 2011 at 10:15 am  / 

    I resent it that AVVO has basically hijacked my profession and is holding me hostage. I can either play their game and “claim” my profile and provide self-serving information (which furthers their business purposes) or be stuck with a default rating which makes me look bad. Consumers are the ones who suffer. There are ample attys who will do the “circle jerk” routine mentioned by one of the people who comented above. These attys will have ratings of 10 and appear to the unsuspecting consumer that they are the “go to” people. It is the same nonsense with “superlawyers.” In my experience the people rated as 10s are invariably less qualified than their peers. They are simply better marketers. Is that what our profession has descended to — whoever can be the greatest huckster?

  16. An AVVO Attorney February 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm  / 

    I am an AVVO attorney. Other AVVO attorneys had told me that they felt one of the scams was that if you do not “update” your information and your rating got lowered, then AVVO would hit you up for advertising and to become a “PRO” subscriber. I did not know what to thnk about this until, in fact, my rating declined and then mysteriously I started getting calls and emails from the sales department. When I pointed this out to them they adamantly insist it was merely a coincidence. I was in fact born at night. Not last night.

  17. Sue February 24, 2011 at 9:53 am  / 

    Avvo wants to create the appearance of an important, ethical attorney rating service, and not some reputation ‘protection racket’ for lawyers without much marketing and internet savvy. Their aggressive, parasitic attempts at dragging lawyers into Avvo by assigning them low ratings for not participating in Avvo is unethical and pathetic.

    Of course, if you wanted to buy ads on Avvo, things would change… your ad, for example will appear on the actual profiles of other lawyers in your practice area & geographical area touting your now high Avvo score, thereby implicitly trashing those direct competitors of yours who won’t have anything to do with Avvo. Avvo’s hyperactive sales department will be happy to do that for you because it benefits Avvo. Oh, and you get some ads.

    It is telling that if you Google “Avvo sued” the first thing you see is the sarcastic, derisive blog post from Avvo’s CEO trashing the latest lawyer to sue them and further damaging the guy. Avvo knows that whenever you google that lawyer, their CEO’s bitchy, unprofessional, one dimensional takedown will probably appear higher on the search engines than that lawyer’s own site due to all the backlinks Avvo has created and facilitated for itself. No ethical ‘ratings service’ or their CEO would do that — single out someone and vocally trash him across the internet as a warning to other lawyers who may want to criticize, or even sue in the future.

    Avvo doesn’t give a shit about lawyers, ethics, transparency or the consumer, and their CEO’s attitude makes that disturbingly clear. They do, however, care about how much money they can generate from selling lawyers some minor, illusory measure of control over their own information, and then roping them in.

    Matt Cutts at Google needs to see Avvo, the self proclaimed arbiter of good lawyers, for the scam that it is. And punish it appropriately.

  18. Another former AVVO attorney March 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm  / 

    As a former AVVO attorney the “algorythm” is a scam and I challenge the smarmy Seattle omniscients to allow an independent group to look at it. Enticed by the idea of a “free” additional presence on the internet I claimed my profile and worked away. I would rather call it a “virtual” circle jerk but that is just what happened. Soon, attorneys I had never met, knew nothing about and hadn’t a clue about were hitting me up for a recommendation, and we swapped thumbs ups. It worked. Our ratings went up almost instantaneously with the recommendations. Based on recommendations by people, of people they had no knowledge of. One may be recommending a top notch Perry Mason calibre attorney, or a slimeball about to be disbarred, but this is exactly what AVVO’s ratings are based upon.

    On a point made in a previous posting, I know a brilliant attorney I have turned to as a mentor at times, who does in fact have a blotch on his record. The attorney has made amends, faced the issue, and there is no local attorney in my region who does not admire this particular attorney and also turn to him for his particular area of expertise. However, in AVVO’s shortsighted myopic view, the recognized top notch counsel will forever be blotched, below the scammers who do the blind circle jerks.

    AVVO is worse than a scam because it poses as a credible attorney rating system, which is far from the truth.

  19. charlesakrugel March 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm  / 

    Thanks for posting your comments about Avvo on my blog. I agree with you that their rating system is suspect. But what really gets me is that once you “claim” your profile you’re stuck, they won’t let you “unclaim” it. Even though Avvo representatives have contacted me, and have even posted on my blog, they’ve never explained this tactic of theirs although it’s probably for the obvious reasons–people will probably “unclaim” their profile in droves.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck Krugel

  20. A new attorney to AVVO April 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm  / 

    SO. With all of this, what can we do?? I am a newer attorney and my score is TERRIBLE because I haven’t published anything??? I run a law practice. How am I supposed to PUBLISH? Surely there is some way to force AVVO to let you “unclaim” your listing.

  21. Lynda April 27, 2011 at 7:43 am  / 

    FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE, PEOPLE.

    If this site is behaving unethically, ban together. Contact other lawyers with low scores. You might even get a Goggle Adwords expert to help you. Then, each of you start contacting Google, in force, with ethical complaints.

    Learn what “organic placement” is, it’s important. Each of you must complain individually to Google that the site is unethical! Google will assign a rep if there are a lot of complaints, under the “do no evil” mantra. Google can manually move them to a poorer position in the organics if it’s justified.

    “Avvo scam’ is already at, or close to, the top of page 1of the organics. You can make it worse, much worse. Each of you needs to go to every single rating service you can find and rate Avvo badly. Go to Epinions, every yellow page site, everywhere! You must use the word “scam”, because this word already has legs on page one! Diss them regularly, each time you touch a computer. Gradually the negative will build on page 1 until they look horrendous.

    Have fun.

  22. Lynda April 27, 2011 at 7:47 am  / 

    Oh, and each of you needs to put “Avvo scam” somewhere on your website. The closer to the front the better. The bots pick this up.

  23. matt May 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm  / 

    is there another site that actually isn’t a scam that will help me find a good lawyer in chicago?

  24. George Najjar July 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm  / 

    Thank you, Charles, for standing up to the “Avvo scam” like this. I never signed up for Avvo, but a firm I was ‘of counsel” with for a short period of time did. This firm paid Avvo, and Avvo assigned me a 10 rating. The firm stopped paying Avvo, and my rating dropped to 7.5 over night. (I have a perfect record, and have been practicing for almost 20 years.) Avvo, of course, said coincidence. The only way I can raise my rating is get other attorneys to sign up for Avvo. Talk about a marketing scam! CONSUMERS BEWARE, IN MY OPINION AND BASED UPON MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, AVVO IS PURELY A MARKETING SCAM. When David Boies and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are assigned ratings below 7 (since removed), we have to come to the opinion that “Avvo is a scam.”

  25. charlesakrugel July 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm  / 

    Thanks for your remarks George! Your Avvo experience is among the sleaziest I’ve heard of yet. Also underscores how much of a waste of time & energy Avvo is considering that it has zero credibility.

  26. Robert August 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm  / 

    I am an attorney and I have claimed my Avvo profile. I am not going to defend Avvo or am I going to crucify Avvo as this is not a black or white issue. I claimed my Avvo profile for the simple fact is that if you type in my name Avvo would appear on the first page of google; I should remind everyone that this is the unclaimed profile. I had recently opened my own firm and looked to take advantage of that google page rank Avvo offers. When I first claimed my Avvo profile I was a 6.6 according to Avvo algorithm. This of course only accounted for the number of years I have been an attorney and what schools I graduated from. Within a year of updating my Avvo profile I was a steady 9.6 and just last month a 10. It should be noted that I have never and never will pay Avvo a dime. I simply added all my information to get my profile as complete as possible. I did not ask other attorneys for an endorsement nor did I request client reviews (although it should be noted I do have 8 attorney endorsements and 4 client reviews). In running my own firm I have found Avvo to be another marketing avenue. In my mind it is just the same as my AV rating or Superlawyer award. Does it mean I am the greatest attorney in the world, no but I if a client chooses to retain me over another attorney all the better. I am running a business. I do excellent work for my clients and most of my business comes from referrals. There is never going to be a perfect mathematical formula to rate an attorney period. Is Avvo perfect of course not but like in life you get what you put into it. I think the hate for Avvo is misplaced. I understand people’s regrets to claim their profile to find they are a 6.0 attorney. However rather than wanting to get a mulligan and undo the claim just add the information and you will be surprised how your rating will increase; although I am not against Avvo allowing those that changed their mind to go back to no concern v. a rating. As for the comments by Robert O. Harker let me state that I do not know you or practice in the area of law that you do. However it is clear that there was something shady in your past as a member of the bar and I would like to know that as a potential client of yours. Here is the information for the Cal Bar website that shows you were not elgible to practice law twice, that would cause me to use “extreme cautio” before hiring you.
    5/23/2001 Active
    11/14/1986 Resigned
    5/23/1986 Not Eligible To Practice Law
    1/6/1983 Active
    10/25/1982 Not Eligible To Practice Law

  27. cj August 24, 2011 at 11:39 pm  / 

    I am looking for another lawyer and must admit I fell for the AVVO 10 rated attorney & spent thousands. I made a mistake & preparing for 2nd Atty. Peer respect is good, but doesn’t necessarily mean the attorney gets results. Charity & Superclub is no indication of results. Show me types of cases, verified positive results, experience, customer comments, complaints, disciplinary action with opportunity for attorney to comment if he/she wishes. I get the feeling that at times a lawyer may upset the wrong person while in the process of doing the right thing for a client and get disciplined. Maybe I am wrong. I feel that the BBB is more telling than AVVO. If a lawyer wants to withdrawl from AVVO they should be able to. Subjecting their collegues to spam in order to get kudo’s is tacky. Soliciting positive reviews are not real reviews. If a collegue asks for a review, they will give a good review regardless of their real feelings. Rate them based on their resume, customer feedback & results. For example, If they win 90% of their cases, I don’t care if they were disciplined for something. I dont’ care if their collegues like them. I dont want them spending their time posting comments to your site. I am paying for hard work & results, not a buddie review.

  28. Dr. Naderi October 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm  / 

    I find this very interesting because I have the same problem with their silly and misguided medical doctor rating system.

  29. TelecomAttorney October 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm  / 

    Are you guys attorneys or not?

    For what purpose are you “claiming” anything? I have not, and will not, claim a profile with AVVO or any other organization. As an attorney, you had a duty to yourself to find out if you could un-claim a profile. If you failed to invoke this important step, then nobody is going to “un-damn” you. Consider this:

    If a client approached you to for a recommendation on claiming a profile on a website where the outcome of that claim from now through perpetuity will be beyond that person’s control, what’s your advice? I think we all know the answer. Quite honestly, if I was seeking my own attorney I would expressly rule-out any attorney who claimed their profile on AVVO. If the attorney is playing Russian Roulette with his or her own life, what is s/he going to do for me as a client? Positively frightening.

  30. charlesakrugel October 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm  / 

    Ouch! Thanks for taking the time & energy to comment though.

  31. Stephen Foster May 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm  / 

    I didn’t put much faith in their ratings, until they gave me a ten. Then I decided that they were a fine and upstanding organization!

    I absolutely agree that they should let anyone take down their profile if they want. I can’t really blame them for putting a cautionary label on someone that has been in trouble with the bar. I can see where whoever was in trouble with the bar would get tired of that.

    Does anyone really take them that seriously? I think its pretty obvious that they don’t have the rigorous standards of superlawyers, rising stars, etc… but its just a site where people get and give free legal advice. I don’t think many people take them that seriously.

  32. Joseph Lombardo December 3, 2012 at 12:32 am  / 

    I’d have to say I agree with Stephen. I don’t think anyone takes them that seriously. I also believe I remember reading in bar journal or something similar that there is a way to email them and force them to remove your name from the site.

  33. manddy December 7, 2012 at 11:56 am  / 

    i tried to re-post my review several times made it almost to very straight forward three lines that my lawyer gave me empty promises and only at mediation session told me he was hoping his ” ideas” would work! anyways AVVO kept rejecting my review! i mentioned no name, no foul language , i just wanted to warn others about what they should expect with him. very sad that even those review forums are bought out and are totally useless!

  34. D. Lee December 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm  / 

    I have emailed this AVVO place several times after discovering they have posted my name on their page. I want nothing to do with them, nor do I want to be associated with them. I believe that if one is active and lists on any type of entity like that, they endorse that entity. This is nothing but a profit making enterprise for AVVO, using public information, mostly incorrectly, to their own advantage.

    They were very rude in their responses to me when I asked that they remove my name. Then they told me my name would NOT be taken down, that they DO NOT remove names. I mean, how dare they then tell me that they are going to RATE me ?!! They know nothing about me. Furthermore, any wingnut who simply hates attorneys can post libelous information about anyone on that website. There is no verification nor validation of any information on that website.

    I am trying to find a way to get the Attorney General, FCC and any other government agency to lend some advice on how to make these types of places remove your information when you request that. This is simply not right. I have not claimed my ‘page’ there because I am not going to allow them to rate me, nor say they know anything about me. I find this whole premise very offensive and a complete invasion of my privacy .

  35. Harvard Attorney February 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm  / 

    Wholeheartedly agree.
    The inability to delete once you’ve claimed your profile +
    Forcing others to register to leave reviews +
    Forcing others to register to peer endorse =

    MLM promotion, essentially.

    I don’t know any attorneys first-hand who have gotten clients through avvo.
    Just my experience..

  36. Adam Barker March 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm  / 

    Thanks for the info. I won’t claim my profile. I ran into issues with avvo because I’m relatively new to the State of California, looking for a job, and unfamiliar with the community. A few weeks ago, I noticed a job listing from a lawyer with whom I have had some past experience. In a nutshell, I would receive his cases to clean up his mess. “Incompetent” and “wackjob” were words that were frequently used when discussing this lawyer within my firm.

    Curiosity got the best of me, and yesterday I took a look at the attorney’s website. He proudly boasts that he is an avvo superstar, with a link to the avvo website on his page.

    How could this be? I navigated around the site for some time, and to my surprise, I found out that the best lawyers are solo practitioners with little experience that went to lousy law schools. And apparently, the Ivy Leaguers turn out to be very mediocre lawyers.

    The client reviews of the lawyer were questionable at best. The reviews were long, technical and the grammar was impeccable. In my line of business, it is rare to have clients that write like this.

    Making matters worse, I discover that many of the subcommittee chairs at my local and state bar association are avvo’er types. It seems that the busy lawyers don’t care and it’s become a joke.

    This is going to get worse. 55% of the 2011 class did not have jobs within 9 months after graduation. If we really think they are going to accept the fact that they just threw away $150,000, we better think again. I think they’d rather hang a shingle. And that’s what I’m seeing. Our law schools have created a situation where untrained lawyers who did not perform well in law school are incentivized to provide legal services to the public on their own, out on an island. These are exactly the people who should NOT be practicing on their own.

    This isn’t good – It’s bad for the public and it’s bad for the profession’s reputation. It’s beyond me that avvo has prevailed in consumer protection actions. Maybe wrong plaintiffs and wrong facts.

  37. Lucky Seven April 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm  / 

    I found Avvo as a result of a false arrest and incarceration. The attorney I chose also beat me out of money with more false info. People hate attorneys and they have the absolute worst reputation. At least AVVO allows attorneys to provide answers, no charge, and then we can negotiate price.
    Quit complaining!

  38. Disgruntled Former Avvo'er April 3, 2013 at 10:29 am  / 

    Rather than complaining about Avvo’s ranking system, as many have done here, I’d like to complain about their business practices and customer relation skills if you do try to use them for marketing.

    Just a note — if you want to cancel after you sign up, their web site contains NO information about how to cancel your subscription. If you call, there’s apparently no one answering phone calls. Every time I called them during business hours, I had to leave a message.

    I sent an email, called and left messages, and they didn’t respond. When they finally did, they indicated they will gouge me for an additional month, because I “agreed” to provide 30 days notice before the charges would cease. Well, I didn’t, but I guess they really wanted that money.

  39. charlesakrugel April 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm  / 

    There is no way to cancel or “unclaim” your Avvo profile. This is one of the things that makes them sleazy. Someone from Avvo commented on this blog a few years ago, but they refused to explain why they won’t allow someone to either “unclaim” or remove their profile.

  40. max April 9, 2013 at 11:54 am  / 

    but I guess they really wanted that money.$$$$$$

  41. Joe July 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm  / 

    I just lost a potential client, after he further googled, because he doesn’t want, ” no 6.8 lawyer”. Will AVVO compensate me, if they can’t legitimately substantiate my rating? ( rhetorical question). I wish they would just go away, or Google dropping them to page 30. In fact Google promotes them by prominently displaying your fake, algorithm generated rating right in the search result, with the shiny orange stars. This company has their cake and eats it too, by getting away with what they do.

    Won’t identify myself due to the extremely litigious nature of this company.

  42. Pat August 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm  / 

    As a consumer who has used AVVO, I get so sick and tired of reading answers where every attorney tells the consumer to go get an attorney. Does every attorney on that site actually believe that consumers have money trees in the backyard and can afford to hire an attorney, but instead choose to ask questions on AVVO? I have to wonder if AVVO tells them or strongly suggests to the attorneys that if ALL the attorneys make that same lame suggestion to the people writing in, that the attorneys on the site will be more likely to pick up more clients. A few of the attorneys write LONG, insulting responses where all they really want to do is convince the consumer to hire an attorney. For this and other reasons, I would never hire an attorney JUST BASED on anything from that site.

  43. Concerned Consumer August 18, 2013 at 1:13 am  / 

    Avvo.com is a “scraper site” which obtains attorney registration information by hijacking the attorney registration information from government and bar association’s websites. Avvo’s brazen web scraping of every state bar association’s website is a flagrant violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). See Southwest Airlines v. Farechase, Inc., 318 F.Supp.2d 435 (N.D. Texas, Dallas Division 2004), plaintiff has a valid cause of action for violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for web scraping fare information off of the Southwest Airlines website for use in defendant’s commercial website.

    In fact, the The District of Columbia Bar found in its Important Notice to the Membership About Avvo
    (See http://www.dcbar.org/inside_the_bar/bar_news/shell.cfm?filename=membership_AVVO), that:

    “D.C. Bar members have inquired about the nature of the D.C. Bar’s relationship with Seattle-based Avvo, Inc., an Internet-based for-profit attorney marketing service. The Bar has not entered into any agreement with Avvo; instead, Avvo has obtained Bar member information directly from the Bar’s Web site, in violation of our restrictions on use, and used that information for its own commercial purposes (including e-mail solicitations to Bar members). The Bar has been advised that Avvo has refused requests from individual members who wished to be removed from Avvo’s Web site.

    Information about Bar members is available to the general public for noncommercial purposes on the Bar’s “Find a Member” Web page, http://www.dcbar.org/find_a_member/index.cfm. That information is limited to member names, business addresses, business telephone numbers, dates of admission to the Bar, membership status, and disciplinary history. In addition, member fax numbers and e-mail addresses may be listed if the individual member has provided that information to the Bar without restriction on its use, and members may opt-out of providing such information at any time.

    Members’ time-sensitive information on the Bar’s Web site is updated regularly. The Bar has asked Avvo to remove all improperly acquired D.C. Bar member information from its Web site, cease all attempts to acquire such information from the Bar’s Web site, and cease using improperly acquired information for any commercial purpose.”

    Based on the foregoing, rather than just complain on a blog, you should file a complaint with the State Attorney General’s office or the Department of Justice, urging that the Avvo.com website be shut down and its officers and directors be criminally prosecuted.

  44. Class action against AVVO February 19, 2014 at 4:52 am  / 

    DO NOT CLAIM YOUR AVVO PROFILE…or you will be subject to a forum selection clause of Washington

  45. Theo May 27, 2014 at 10:06 am  / 

    I entered a review for a lawyer who did not do what they said they would do. The lawyer disputed the claim, so Avvo sent me an email to reply and verify myself, then I could repost. I replied and reposed. Now they say my review, which met the criteria before, does not meet their guidelines. So if my review was against their guidelines, how did it get approved the first time??

  46. Anne Brady September 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm  / 

    After I participated as an attorney on Avvo for years, a pair of crackpots hired me for all of 24 hours and then went on Avvo and posted a libelous “review” of me. I can not get Avvo to remove it. They claim that because this former “client” is standing by the review, they will not remove it, and they are immune from liability under federal law. Even after they have been told that the so-called review is full of lies. I did not withdraw from the representation; I was fired because I told them the truth about what the law states. These people are nut jobs. If I could just remove myself entirely from Avvo, I would do so, but of course, I can not. So if anyone Googles me, this is what they find.

  47. Not My Name November 28, 2014 at 10:05 am  / 

    Amazing that nothing can be done about this. Those in my field here with endorsements are the ones at one law firm who have all endorsed each other, and they are as a result getting many of the cases since Avvo came into being and I am getting far less. I have a better reputation than they do, but now with the fake 7.1 on my google search, potential new clients make appointments and then fail to show up. I am definitely being libeled. I asked them to remove the rating but instead of it stating “no concern” it said something like “no discipline” with a red or orange negative-looking check mark next to it. Those who never claimed the green “no concern” check mark.

    I’m amazed at the complete imbeciles who have 9/10 and 10/10 ratings who are completely incompetent in our field in this state. It is all about politics and conniving to get the 10.0. Not about good attorney work and pleasing your clients. It’s all about perception. I’m certain that I have lost many, many potential clients over my Avvo rating. I have completed my profile, added a picture, answer questions, and it doesn’t seem to get me anywhere. I don’t want to endorse my direct competitors. I’m a better bankruptcy attorney than they are. I know that, so I cannot honestly say I recommend or endorse them. Even though they have the fake 10.0 that makes them look great. One attorney in particular who has a 9 or 10 cannot even form coherent sentences, so how can he be a 10? This is sick, wrong, and maddening. Even if i wanted to form a ring of people to bring myself up to a 10, how does one find this? It’s like a website of doom for me. For the rest of my life, I will look like a 7.1 out of 10 when I am a 10 out of 10. What did I do to deserve this? It’s a marketing disaster. I might as well quit practicing law and do something else. I am a 10, and I’m being maligned as a 7 by the profit-seeking greedy monster who runs avvo. It sounds so innocent, Avvo. Nightmare.

  48. Darned Website November 28, 2014 at 10:10 am  / 

    Most of the best attorneys I know in Utah have a 6.7 to a 7.1 “rating” on http://www.avv.com. Strange. The worst ones here seem to have a 9.0 to 10.0. It makes no sense. It is destroying lives and careers. And they don’t care. Avvo just wants to make its money.

  49. arlo December 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm  / 

    AVVO is engaging in nothing more than reputation extortion. There’s a kid attorney listed who has been practicing for 7 years. I’ve been practicing for 21. His experience level is pegged while mine is a 4/5. His industry recognition is pegged while mine is 1/5. All of his peer reviews are from over 35 lawyers around the country. I doubt any of them know this kid because all he does is dwi and criminal work here locally.

    So when people google me, the AVVO listing is 3rd and shows me at a 6.8/10. I’m a highly experienced lawyer and get excellent results. I’ve lost exactly one jury trial and one bench trial in my career, yet AVVO has my reputation in its evil grips. This has to be tantamount to defamation. Telling the public I’m a 6.8/10 should be backed up with some juice.



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