While all family lawyers are concerned about their reputation, not all of them are attending to their online reputation. The unfortunate outcome of not managing your online reputation is this: you will lose business to those lawyers who have a good reputation online and offline and a good AVVO rating. In fact, you may even lose business to family lawyers who in your opinion is no match for your experience and service, but they sound and look good online.
To me, the reason is obvious: the internet has made it easy for everyone to look for and check out family lawyers online before deciding whether to consider contacting them. Don’t kid yourself, even a prospective client who was referred to you by a friend or another lawyer will more than likely Google you first before contacting you.
Whether you are active online or not, you have an online reputation because there are lots of directories that list lawyers, rate them and allow visitors to rate or comment on the services they received from these lawyers. It is bad for you, if:
- these directories show inaccurate or minimal information on you (but have great and detailed information on other family lawyers in your city),
- there are poor ratings or poor reviews on you, or
- you are not listed at all.
AVVO.com is one website that rates lawyers using its own rating system. Not all lawyers are aware of this website, but it is well visited by lay people. As a lawyer, if you were listed, you will be given a rating of 1 to 10. If AVVO cannot find information about you enough to give you a rating and there is no bad information about you, you may be given a rating of “No Concern”. Of course, all lawyers would want their rating to be 10 because we all know that when a person is looking for a family lawyer to handle their divorce, he or she will prefer to choose a lawyer with a rating of 10. But what if you got a poor rating and you disagree with it, what should you do?
I interviewed Mark Britton, Avvo’s founder and CEO, to gain some insights on AVVO and AVVO rating system. You can read about my interview with him in an article I wrote in Family Lawyer Magazine here: www.familylawyermagazine.com/articles/whats-in-an-avvo-rating