Local lawyers have been solicited by AVVO claiming that said advertising service was indispensable in staying abreast of their competition and that the highest rating by AVVO was a significant benefit to attracting new clients.
Several local lawyers have become affiliated with AVVO for the privilege of putting their emblem on their website as “Avvo Advisor” or “Avvo Legal Services.”
“Avvo Advisor” offers a deal where a customer of legal services buy 15 minute phone conversations with a lawyer for a flat rate of 39-40 flat rate of which Avvo keeps of $10 marketing fee.
“Avvo Legal Services” allows a customer to pay flat fees to Avvo for legal services provided by affiliated lawyers, after which Avvo pays the lawyer but keeps a marketing fee.
Avvo, Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer are three of the social media web based services that proliferate the television airwaves touting the legal ability of lawyers who join their networks.
Now several states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Ohio have ruled that Avvo’s business models are violating ethic rules that prohibit the services from requiring attorneys to share a legal fee with a non-lawyer.
There are many capable lawyers in the Chattanooga area that do not become financial investors in Avvo to obtain their legal rating.
Avvo salespersons encourage attorneys who have no Avvo rating or may have received a negative rating from one or more clients to establish or erase said rating by becoming affiliated with their company.
They also suggest that you get a couple of references from fellow attorneys to support your candidacy for a rating. They are very reluctant to take off a negative anonymous comment unless you subscribe to their service. A review of Avvo at www.thebalance.com/avvo-criticism-lawyers-2151218 gives a summary of criticism of the service and explains why you should be careful of using their rating system as the sole basis for hiring a lawyer to represent you in a serious matter. To get a balanced review of the service go to Google and check the various listings that both praise and criticize Avvo.
If a well-established attorney has any negative reviews you should contact them to hear their side of the story before hiring anyone solely on the basis of an Avvo lower rating than some of their fellow attorneys.
Talk to several Avvo and non-Avvo layers before you make a selection of whom to use to handle your case.
I encourage you to buy local products and hire local, reputable attorneys!