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:
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.