Avvo is a lawyer referral company, attorney directory, and rating service that also offers several other features.
As a legal referral service, Avvo provides a platform for attorneys to offer fixed-fee, limited-scope, unbundled services to consumers. Avvo determines what services will be offered, and attorneys can sign up to provide services in locations for which they are licensed. Attorneys must provide services in at least one of the following areas:
- Bankruptcy and debt
- Criminal defense
- Divorce and separation
- Estate planning
- Landlord or tenant
- Real estate
Avvo sets a flat fee for the services attorneys can offer and facilitates a referral to a lawyer who contacts the consumer directly. Avvo handles payment processing and transfers fees to a lawyer once the work is complete. Lawyers are charged a marketing fee based on the services provided. Lawyers perform their own conflict checks and are encouraged to have clients sign a representation agreement.
As a lawyer directory and rating service, Avvo is an extensive index of American attorneys. Avvo states that it has Avvo-rated profiles for 97% of the practicing lawyers in the United States. Those profiles contain both client reviews and endorsements from other attorneys. Avvo also maintains a proprietary rating system.
Avvo automatically includes attorneys in its lawyer directory, obtaining contact information from state bars and other sources. Attorneys can also add information to their profile, such as a resume, a link to their website, and significant cases.
Avvo also offers Avvo Advisor, a service where consumers can talk to an attorney for 15 minutes for a fixed fee of $39. Only lawyers with a 7.5 Avvo rating or better and client ratings of at least four out of five stars can participate in Avvo Advisor.
For consumers, there is a Q&A forum where they can ask questions, which lawyers answer for free. No attorney-client relationship is formed, though this can possibly serve as lead generation for attorneys. Consumers can also search previously-asked questions and answers.
Finally, Avvo also has a research component where they conduct polls about things like attitudes towards divorce or rental markets, as they believe such information will be useful to both the attorneys and consumers that use Avvo.