Before the Internet, in a land before time, it was much more difficult for consumers to research professional services or products before making a decision. You had to either go with your gut or trust word-of-mouth. Nowadays, you can practically research everything under the sun on the web. Interested in checking out that new restaurant down the street? Check out their reviews on Yelp before visiting!
Avvo.com is essentially the Yelp for lawyers. Avvo is the largest online legal directory and a useful tool to help acquire new business. According to Avvo, more than 95% of licensed US attorneys are listed in its directory. The website creates profiles based on public information it receives from the State Bar. So chances are if you’re an attorney, you have an Avvo profile. While claiming your Avvo profile is definitely optional, you run the risk of having incorrect information or low ratings on your profile if you choose to not utilize it.
Your Avvo rating (1-10 stars) is determined by several factors, such as completeness of profile, peer endorsements, and involvement in the legal community. While it goes without saying that a simple 1-10 score does not determine the quality or success of an attorney, it is highly likely that potential clients will see it as a factor on whether or not they reach out to you.
I personally enjoy using Avvo and think its great way to market yourself and your firm. It’s free, simple to use, and helps potential clients learn more about you and your legal work. My advice? Make a commitment to being active on Avvo and offer peer endorsements. Spend at least fifteen minutes once a week to update your profile with new relevant information, e.g. awards, speaking engagements, or publications you’ve submitted to. Be sure to support your friends in the field by offering honest peer endorsements. Avvo is not only an online legal directory, it’s a great networking tool for attorneys.
Feel free to check out my Avvo profile here.