Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1410 Posts and Counting


Posted By Cliff Tuttle | January 18, 2011

No. 567

The Solo Attorney’s Practitioner’s Forum on Linked-In is all lit up with comments about AVVO.  Many lawyers who have claimed their AVVO accounts (like me) have seen their AVVO ratings go down since the beginning of the year (like me). They usually complain that there has been no change in the data, or even an improvement.  Judging from the unanimity of the complaints, the condition is so  widespread that it is a very good bet that AVVO rewrote their algorithm.

There has also been a lot of concern expressed about client comments.  Here’s a typical example:

I claimed my AVVO listing so that I could post links on it, but I am very uneasy about their system. It would be very easy for one person to destroy a lawyer’s AVVO rating at will, merely by posting multiple negative reviews under various aliases. And considering that people are quicker to complain than they are to say something nice, the odds are that more complainers are going to post than supporters. Maybe I’m being pessimistic in that regard.

Another commenter stated that he was the victim of a negative client comment that was not true.  He couldn’t recognize the client or the situation. He complained to AVVO and the representative  he spoke to was not very helpful.

The truth is, people do go to AVVO in droves and a bad comment could seriously impair the ability of a lawyer to get business. There is no benefit to the public or the bar in failing to police malicious comments.  I was under the impression that AVVO investigated client comments if a lawyer complains. I’ll investigate and report.


Within hours, Conrad Saam at AVVO, had sent me this reply:

Cliff – you are absolutely correct.  Every year, based on input (from literally thousands) of lawyers and consumers, we adjust the algorithm.  We wrote about this on the blog in December:http://avvoblog.com/2010/12/17/9966/

As far as client reviews go – we have the gold standard on the web.  Every review is read by our team to ensure it meets our stringent guidelines before it goes live.  After that, attorneys can either comment directly on reviews or even challenge reviews.  We take this very seriously.


CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

  • Recent Posts

  • Posts You Might Like

  • Subscribe to our feed