After running into legal difficulties because of some of its techniques in dealing with consumers and potential attorney listings, Avvo has settled one of the controversies with the New York Attorney General’s Office by paying a fine of $50,000.00 and changing their consumer disclosures about how attorneys are rated and how Avvo posts legal forms to the website.
The agreement follows the purchase of the company by Internal Brands in April 2018 from Avvo founder Mark Britton and four other chief executives. The company’s use of a 1-10 rating system had been criticized and accused of favoring attorneys that update and build Avvo profiles.
One of the requirements of the agreement with New York State is that Avvo must inform potential consumers that attorneys who upload a resume or submit a self-serving profile must state on Avvo’s website that those lawyers receive higher rankings on the 1-10 scale than lawyers who do not. Whether the return of Avvo to the billion dollar lawyer advertising arena is for the benefit of the consumer seeking quality representation, attorneys who pay to list their alleged legal credentials or the financial benefits of Avvo is a decision that must be made by each.
While it is legal to consider Avvo and other legal advertising services and the selected favorable client reviews it is respectfully suggested that potential clients for legal services solicit the opinions of other individuals in the community as to the qualifications of non-Avvo subscribing attorneys and then make their decision as to who they want to represent them.
I encourage you to buy local products and hire local, reputable attorneys!