I am relying on the ratings on Avvo to determine who I should choose.
Is it reliable?
Law Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for legal professionals, students, and others with experience or interest in law. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Avvo.com is effectively an advertisement platform for attorneys.
Avvo.com deletes detailed accounts of attorney misconduct including such an attorney themselves admits to, for e.g. in a dispute resolved in the attorney’s surrendering of their case upon the involvement of an arbitrator. This is true, including in California, where attorney misconduct is known to be greatly prevalent, left unprosecuted, and covered-up for. (See, for e.g., State Bar doesn’t police attorneys or itself closely enough, state audit finds, San Francisco Chronicle, April, 2022; see also, The State Bar of California’s Attorney Discipline Process, Auditor of State of California, April 14, 2023)
In fact, even low-star ratings may be deleted when an attorney disputes users' ratings without an impartial documents-only hearing.
However, where an attorney successfully accumulated enough 1 and 2-star reviews, and they are shown anything less than 5 stars should be a red flag. The lower the overall rating the greater a red flag, and the more ratings being the base of the overall rating the more well-founded any such red flag is.
All in all, a 5-star avg. rating on that site should not be given any more weight than a billboard reading the “best injury attorneys in the Greater [fill in with choice of city name of metropolitan area] Area, call (888)…”; however, a low rating should raise serious concerns because of the business model and moderation practices of the site administration. (If they say you’re bad, you probably are bad bad.)