You are listed in an online lawyer directory known as Avvo. Yes, you are. What’s Avvo? We recently explained it as “a site that uses fancy wind and solar powered proprietary algorithms to rate attorneys from 1-10. #manbehindcurtain.” Though Avvo’s counsel responded to clarify that Avvo uses only fossil fuels, the core of Avvo remains its ten-point rating system. Our own @gregoryluce is rated a 10, though he got that by adding all of his social media badges and answering an ERISA law question. Idiot.
But a super duper Avvo rating creates a big problem: future unrealistic expectations of clients, who essentially believe you are an astronaut. With a super duper rating, how can you deliver top-notch work for every client, every day? After all, everyone knows that attorneys do a mediocre job on their run-of-the-mill cases so as to finance their high-profile ERISA cases. But what if you are expected to provide astronaut-level service when you actually hobby in the law at Starbucks? It can be unnecessarily exhausting.
We recommend that you trash your Avvo rating in order to lower client expectations and to get better-matched referrals. This is done a number of ways, but here are our top recommendations.
Avvo tries to lure attorneys into answering legal questions that people post to the site. Instead of committing malpractice and answering them, why not provide nonsensical answers? For example, an Avvo user recently asked “can criminal charges be brought against a tenant for non payment of rent?” Instead of correctly answering “absolutely, and I can get you a deal,” say something like “It really depends on your horoscope and whether you own an heirloom collection of Smurfs. Please fax me a copy of your Netflix queue and I’ll look into it.”
One way to increase your Avvo rating is to list your professional awards. If you are a highly-rated attorney, you’ve probably listed lots of awards, including the car magnet you received from National Public Radio. To reduce your rating, however, replace some of those awards with various foursquare badges. While we have posted before about biggifying your brand with foursquare badges, this essentially involves smallifying your brand. Thus, instead of listing foursquare badges that exude confidence and competence as an attorney, pick badges that are slightly embarrassing or make you look immature. Good choices are douchebag, gossip girl, crunked, or NASA Explorer.
Endorse Disbarred Lawyers
The Avvo rating system relies on endorsements from other lawyers. If you cannot get a disbarred lawyer to endorse you, consider endorsing a disbarred lawyer yourself. It’s easy. Review your jurisdiction’s list of disbarred lawyers, then search for one that appears on Avvo. Simply click on a link to endorse them. But make the endorsement relevant and honest. For example: “I don’t know Michael personally. But he got $4.3 million from his client and had sex with opposing counsel’s wife, who was fucking hot! Two thumbs up!”
What’s a good number to shoot for? We recommend 6.7. If you are not sure, think of it this way. A wise person once said, “I’m not a witch, I’m you.” Similarly, most clients want you to be them, not for you to be a witch. So trash your rating to increase your chances of getting a better-matched client. Embrace the notion of your inherent mediumness. It will pay off.