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   /   58 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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58 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Sue Sponte February 6, 2015 at 8:48 am  / 

    I just don’t think we need to take AVVO too seriously. All of their ratings need to be taken with a grain of salt as none but the more naive among the public will realize as it fills with clutter and ads. Watch for the attorneys with high ratings from peers out of their areas and discount them accordingly. Getting all upset and making a stink with AVVO only enables them through publicity. A couple of the most prsstigious, highly regarded, Martindale A rated lawyers here in N Cal will not deign to get involved with this charade and “claim” and thus have “average” ratings but they could care less. Counter-intuitively, I am trying to remove a peer endorsement from an attorney I don’t know, who was disciplined by the state bar, posted in an attempt to procure a reciprocal kudo because stuff like can tend to damage one’s credibility. If there’s anything worse than being under appreciated, it’s being viewed as a poseur and a phony.

  5. charlesakrugel February 9, 2015 at 2:17 pm  / 

    Thanks for your remarks. I agree that AVVO shouldn’t be taken too seriously. My key gripe with them is over their “claim” & no-unclaim process. That part of it is a scam.

  6. wilbert outlaw August 5, 2015 at 6:23 pm  / 

    pure scam and bull shit. let the public beware.

  7. Frank March 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm  / 

    Is there anything that can be done about this? Privacy law may require that they allow any “claimed” profiles to be unclaimed.

  8. charlesakrugel March 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm  / 

    That’s what’s so perplexing about this issue. Avvo has found some grey area where they can make it look like an attorney is a member, even though they’re not.


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