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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
Attorney • (800) 397-4910

I Really Don't Want This Plaque


I am an Avvo rated lawyer. In fact, I have their highest rating – 10.0. I’m honored… really I am (though some have questioned Avvo’s rating system). I claimed my Avvo profile shortly after an Avvo presentation at the ROI Conference in 2010. I liked what I heard. I even answered a few questions for Avvo on various topics. Avvo has the potential to be a very good thing.

But Avvo… buddy. You’re letting me down. Perhaps I should be even more proud of my 10.0 rating, but I really, really don’t want to purchase your silly plaque, even with a 15% off coupon. I can’t imagine many other lawyers do either. So why do you (or your promotional partners) keep sending me stuff like this?

Avvo - please stop sending crap like this

This crappy little plaque… for nearly $200 (before the 15% advertised discount)? What’s Avvo’s cut out of this? Is it enough to make up for the hit on credibility?

Crap like this makes Avvo seem much less like an independent site matching quality legal personnel with needy clients by helping them find "the best lawyer from the world’s largest legal directory" and much more like another run-of-the-mill clearing house for marketing specialists masquerading as lawyers.

I don’t begrudge an entrepreneurial spirit, but when you hold yourself out as an independent rating agency, but offer special promotion to highest paying rather than the most qualified, you lose credibility. Come on Avvo… you can do better.

(c) Copyright 2011 Brett A. Emison


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  1. The Layman says:
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    I can see how you might questions the creditability of this plaque. But what about all the other plaques you have? I think they seem a little more valuable for one simple reason. Those plaques came from a more “established” entity. Your perception of Avvo is affecting this idea of status. With a long view of history and the realization that Avvo is here to stay, you will realize that in 10-20 years, these plaques will be just as important as the ones already hanging in your office. You just look down your nose right now, because Avvo is new. Less “Established”. Let’s be honest, attorneys are all about the establishment.

  2. Brett Emison says:
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    Layman – Thanks for reading and for the comment.

    First off, I don’t have many plaques. I have the report of my first settlement, my first arbitration award, and my first jury verdict as first chair counsel. And these are sentimental mementos for me, not to market to clients. In fact, they’re not even on my wall.

    I don’t “look down my nose … because Avvo is new.” I look down my nose because Avvo is selling its “soul” to the highest bidder.

    Avvo has the potential to become a powerful tool not only to lawyers (and doctors), but also for clients and patients who don’t know where else to turn for information.

    I also agree that Avvo is here to stay. Unless Avvo morphs into nothing more than another version of FindLaw or Lexis (or a multi-firm version of 1-800-law-firm) selling itself to the highest bidder. If Avvo destroys its credibility by recommending only those who pay it, how does it differentiate itself? How does it maintain its credibility?

    Avvo markets itself as something better. And it should be something better.

    Thanks again for reading.

  3. Josh King says:
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    Brett, thanks for the feedback. We’re always trying out new stuff here at Avvo, and the plaque is one of them. Lots of lawyers seem to like being able to have a physical version of their Avvo Rating to hang on the wall, but your point is well taken. It doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s certainly not central to what we do.

    We’ll keep trying to make Avvo the web’s best resource for consumers and lawyers, and I hope our experiment with plaques doesn’t change how you feel about us.

    But hey – if you want to show that shiny “10” off, I’m sure I can get you a deal :)

    Josh King
    VP, Business Development & GC

  4. Brett Emison says:
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    Josh – thanks for your comment. I have high hopes for (and high expectations of) Avvo. Don’t let us down.