avvologo1.jpgAvvo is a new company that lets people find good attorneys, letting them seeing how others have rated the lawyers, and whether they have been disciplined. It lets users rate attorneys too.

Avvo is bound to stir controversy. Lawyers given bad ratings are already disturbed. See the story by John Cook of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. One poorly rated criminal defense lawyer calls it “a joke.”

This can be a very valuable service. However, it is open to abuse, because many clients don’t fully grasp some matters, and can easily get upset with their attorneys because by default, attorneys lose about half the time. This is the same problem we discussed about Thefunded, where entrepreneurs leave comments about venture capitalists. It also has similarities to Zillow, a a company that places an estimated value on peoples’ homes and which has upset some homeowners

See screenshot below, showing an example of the criminal defense lawyer rating page. For the lowest rated attorneys, the site warns “extreme caution.”

Other competing directories exist, including Martindale-Hubbell, FindLaw and AttorneyPages, but Avvo providers more ways for consumers and other lawyers to provide feedback.

Silicon Valley’s Benchmark Capital and Bellevue, Washington’s Ignition Partners invested $10 million into Avvo in April. We first wrote about Avvo a year ago, when it was still secretive, and after it got its first $3 million batch of capital.


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