The Avvo Rating: What it Is and What it is Not

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A lot of lawyers trumpet their Avvo ratings or the fact that they’re listed as Super Lawyers, Rising Stars and so forth. These ratings are mostly meaningless. Why?

Let’s take a look at Avvo, where I’ve got an excellent rating of 8.9. As Sam Glover recently wrote at The Lawyerist, lots of top lawyers are incorrectly rated by Avvo. For instance, my rating is higher than Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard professor who was a member of OJ’s dream team.

Is Avvo wrong about me? I’d like to think not. Is Avvo wrong about Dershowitz? Probably.

Scott Greenfield has an even more cynical take:

But that was back when Avvo sought to establish its legitimacy. Good times. As with all shiny new tech companies, the day eventually comes when it needs to monetize its empty rhetoric. First, there was the atrocity of Avvo Answers to get dumb eyeballs so they could sell advertising. But there are only so many ad dollars to spread across a really big internet, so that wasn’t enough.

In my view, Avvo is basically worthless. It provides no transparent way of understanding how it achieves its rankings. It arbitrarily raises or lowers rankings with no rhyme or reason. Its Avvo Answers are essentially junk. Even though I have contributed a large number of answers, I no longer do it for three reasons: I’m busy with my practice, I think that most of the answers are so vague as to be useless to the actually person – anyone relying on the internet to resolve their legal problems needs to have his head examined – and I’m tired of Avvo using my content to raise itself in the google search rankings for its own pecuniary benefit.

If you’re relying upon Avvo to tell you who to hire, beware. In some cases, you may be hiring a “10.0″ (whatever that means!) lawyer only to find out that an associate of the firm is handling your case.

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