Avvo is a directory that connects people with local lawyers who specialize in the type of law that they need help with. Its popularity, ease of use, and ability to direct users toward a lawyer who fits their needs exactly all make Avvo a prime platform for lawyers and law firms looking to connect with potential clients. Clients can also leave reviews on the website, describing their experiences with a particular lawyer. For these reasons, Avvo is sort of like Facebook or Yelp for lawyers — it’s an essential part of advertising your business online. And since a high rating is so vital to your business, you might be wondering ‘how do I increase my Avvo rating’? And we’ll get to that. But before we do, let’s cover some of the basics:
What Is an Avvo Rating?
In the Avvo directory, every lawyer’s profile is assigned an Avvo rating. This is Avvo’s best guess about the quality of the lawyer in question, based solely on publicly available information. These scores run from 1 to 10 and, according to Avvo, the numbers should be interpreted as follows:
- 10 – 9.0: Superb;
- 8.9 – 8.0: Excellent;
- 7.9 – 7.0: Very Good;
- 6.9 – 6.0: Good;
- 5.9 – 5.0: Average;
- 4.9 – 4.0: Concern;
- 3.9 – 3.0: Caution;
- 2.9 – 2.0: Strong Caution;
- 1.9 – 1.0: Extreme Caution.
Do I Need an Avvo Score?
Yes, you absolutely need an Avvo rating. Ratings give potential clients an at-a-glance evaluation of your abilities as a lawyer. People are more likely to write off lawyers with bad scores right away, and tend to gravitate towards lawyers with higher scores. This makes your Avvo profile a huge factor in your overall law firm marketing strategy.
What Does My Avvo Rating Say About Me?
Your Avvo rating is a measure of two things: your quality as a lawyer based on publicly available information; and whether or not you’ve put in the effort to represent yourself well online. For consumers, an Avvo rating is a way to quickly evaluate lawyers and cut a certain group out of their selection process, just like a person shopping online who decides not to buy anything with an average rating of fewer than four stars.
What Does an Avvo Rating Measure?
The factors that influence your Avvo rating include:
- Awards: Certains awards from reputable organizations within the legal industry can boost your Avvo rating. An award’s contribution to your Avvo rating will decay over time, however, so new awards are more valuable.
- Legal Associations: Your professional involvement in legal organizations can improve your Avvo rating. This is taken as a sign of your commitment to the profession and your relationships with your peers.
- Peer Endorsements: Other legal professionals can endorse your Avvo profile and vice versa. Endorsements matter towards your Avvo rating, but there is a limit to the number of points that you can get from endorsements.
- Publications: Articles that you publish in the field of law are also counted towards your Avvo rating since they represent your dedication to the field as well as your technical knowledge in your area.
- Speaking Engagements: Speaking engagements represent your knowledge in the field as well as others’ perception of your authority on a given subject, and count towards your Avvo rating.
- Work Experience: Finally, work experience is a big factor in determining your Avvo rating. The time you’ve worked as a lawyer and the types of work that you’ve done are both important in this regard.
How Is an Avvo Rating Used?
Avvo ratings are used primarily by consumers. Anyone who is looking at lawyer profiles on Avvo and making a decision about how to hire can use Avvo ratings to inform that decision. Essentially, Avvo ratings are used like reviews on social media — consumers use them to make decisions about who to give their business to. As such, your Avvo rating can carry significant financial value to your law practice.
How Can I Improve My Avvo Rating?
Since your Avvo rating can have such a big impact on your bottom line, it’s important to boost it as high as you can. Improving your rating from low to high can instantly make you a viable choice in the eyes of many consumers. Even minor improvements to an already-high score can give you a leg up on your competition.
Claim Your Profile
In order to add information to your Avvo profile, you’ll need to claim it as yours on the Avvo website. Here is how you can claim your profile if you haven’t already:
- Search for your first and last name on the page dedicated to claiming your profile.
- Once you’ve found your profile, you’ll need to provide proof of identity to claim it. You can do this by providing a LinkedIn or Facebook profile, email address, or phone number that’s associated with your identity.
- You will get a message via your chosen confirmation method. Follow the instructions in this message and your Avvo profile is all set to use!
Fill Out Your Profile
When you first claim your profile, it will be fairly sparse. Filling out your profile has two main benefits: first, it provides potential clients with important information about you and, second, it’s a chance for you to provide information that can improve your Avvo rating. Make sure that you fill out the following sections of your profile:
- About: This is a good place to talk about yourself and your practice. This is mainly for the consumer’s eyes, so it’s your chance to represent yourself as a professional who can deliver results for your clients.
- Contact: Leave a phone number and a link to a website for your practice. If you don’t have a website, then now is a good time to make once. You’ll need one if you want to appear in local search results for lawyers.
- Location: Avvo should have your rough location based on the city where you practice law, but you can add exact office locations as well.
- Resume: You should include your resume in your profile, with all of your work experience, education, community recognition, and publications in the field of law.
Get Peer Endorsements
Peer endorsements are part of an Avvo rating that you can acquire instantly, unlike work experience or activity in professional associations. Peer endorsements on your Avvo profile can come from other lawyers who you’ve worked within the past or who were impressed by your work as opposing counsel on a case.
However, it’s important to remember that there is a limit to how many points you can get from peer endorsements alone. While you should seek peer endorsements wherever available, don’t make them your only focus.
Develop Your Career
Become involved in professional associations, publish articles in legal journals, work hard to win awards, and look for speaking engagements where available. Doing these things as career development can contribute to your Avvo rating. Since many of these things take time, they aren’t an instant fix for your Avvo profile, but they will add up and pay off in the long run.
Things That Don’t Affect Your Rating
Some things that you do on the Avvo website are still important parts of marketing yourself as a lawyer, but they will not increase your Avvo rating.
- Answering Questions: On the Avvo platform, you will have the opportunity to answer users’ legal questions. Answering questions can help you put your name in front of potential clients and demonstrate your expertise to users, but it will not factor into your Avvo rating.
- Publishing Legal Guides: Similar to answering questions, legal guides on the Avvo website will help to present you as an authority to users, but writing guides will not improve your score.
- Client Reviews: Client reviews are a huge factor in consumer decisions. They can tell potential clients important information about you that isn’t captured in an Avvo rating, such as how personable you are, whether or not you took a case seriously, and how comfortable someone felt working with you.
And basically, that’s how you increase your Avvo rating. Keep in mind, an Avvo rating is a good way for potential clients to evaluate your skills at a glance. However, it’s not the final word on who is the best lawyer or who they should select to represent them. Work on improving your Avvo rating when you can, but don’t forget about other factors that can influence consumer decisions when it comes to choosing a lawyer.