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How Avvo Built a Local Online Marketplace for Legal Services

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Founded in 2007 by Mark Britton, Avvo set out to make legal easier by offering consumers clear and complete information about legal issues and lawyers in their area qualified to help.  Avvo currently has Avvo-rated profiles for 97% of attorneys in the U.S., a Q&A forum where consumers can ask a question for free and receive answers from qualified attorneys – typically within an hour, and a fixed fee legal service called Avvo Advisor, which people can speak to an attorney for 15 minutes over the phone right away for just $39.

To learn more about this online legal marketplace, we caught up with David French, head of business development at Avvo:

What local problem(s) does Avvo solve? How?
People often put off hiring a lawyer because of fear and uncertainty – both around the process of finding and choosing the lawyer and understanding the costs.  Avvo puts people in control of their legal issue and makes it much easier to find and select the right lawyer.  Our mission is to make getting legal services as routine as getting a car serviced or getting a routine medical check-up.

What makes Avvo innovative?
More than 230,000 attorneys across the United States actively participate on Avvo.  As a result, every 5 seconds someone receives free legal help on Avvo. Other legal websites offer forms or help from paralegals.  Avvo Advisor enables people to get affordable, professional legal help on demand – anytime anywhere.  The industry leading Avvo rating, provides a unprecedented level of transparency into lawyers’ qualifications and background.  Lawyers cannot pay to improve their rating or remove disciplinary notices on their profile.

How does Avvo make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
Avvo allows consumers to get profession legal advice from local lawyers and find the local lawyer that is right for them in our directory that includes ratings, reviews and profiles for 97% of attorneys in the United States.

Avvo also gives lawyers the ability to market and advertise directly to the people who are in need of their services. Avvo receives nearly nine million visits a month. With Avvo advertising, attorneys can select practice areas and counties to advertise in, enabling them to market their skills and qualifications to people in their area.

In addition, attorneys can market their services for fee on Avvo.  Attorneys answering questions in Avvo’s Q&A forum receive 7 times more contacts from prospective clients than those who do not.

What is next in local?
The proliferation of mobile payment systems, combined with communications capabilities, such as HD video chat will move professional services, such as legal, out of the office and into people’s hands.

Check out the video below or visit www.avvo.com for more.

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