The concept builds on Avvo’s established Q&A forum, where consumers ask lawyers questions online.
Now buyers of legal services can go one stage further and, according to Avvo, “privately seek guidance on how to proceed with their individual situation.”
How does it work?
- Avvo first matches the description of the case to relevant attorneys
- The attorneys have three days to respond
- Avvo then notifies the clients of new responses
- The individual calls the firm (s) and decide whether they want to proceed
The marketplace currently covers two practice areas: divorce and traffic tickets.
More practice areas are expected to be added in due course.
Leigh McMillan, Avvo’s marketing director, recently explained the concept on a Linked-In discussion:
“This service is primarily aimed at consumers who are asking questions in our Q&A forum when they really should be hiring a lawyer. Our research shows that they are not hiring because of a) fear b) and lack of readily available information that informs their choice and gives them the confidence they need to move forward. We want to encourage these people to hire an attorney and eliminate the roadblocks preventing them from doing so, including misconceptions about cost and complexity. The benefit to the consumer is a better outcome for their situation. The benefit to attorney is more clients.”
I’ve blogged a number of times about Avvo over the years.
For those unfamiliar with the company, it is a new-generation online legal directory that was launched in June 2007 by Mark Britton, the former general counsel of online travel agent, expedia.com.
The Seattle-based company has grown remarkably since then and is now one of the most heavily used legal websites in the U.S
Originally a lawyer directory, the company soon evolved to become a “question and answer” forum.
Although the directory component of Avvo remains, the emphasis is on encouraging potential clients to leave questions for attorneys – who then respond online.
A constant innovator in the legal directories space, Avvo also recently introduced Avvo Ignite, a client conversion website solution for attorneys.