The rise of Yelp heralded the arrival of the crowd-sourced review and a new regime headed by the amateur reviewer class. Astride on smart phones and cloaked with the Internet’s anonymity, they endowed themselves with the power to make or break a business using their mighty star rating system. They have become a specter with the ability to influence the public gaze cast on a business and a person.

The research is clear: people trust online reviews and this influences word-of-mouth recommendations.  Reviews matter and the powers of the reviewer class do not seem to be waning. This has produced a push-pull relationship between businesses and the public as the former is ruled by the whims of this class and strives to meet their expectations. The public gaze is ever-present, creating a need to learn how to best perform in this public feedback era, raise online reviews, and handle negative reviews.

A bad review is not the time to go on the defensive or bring out the box of tissues. Lear recommends you become proactive in the way you handle the reviews posted on Avvo. The following are some handy tips and tricks to improve and maintain your Avvo score:

  1. Publications: put as many as possible (magazines, blog posts [SCOTUS blog is really good], law review, non-legal publications (business related etc.)


  1. Peer Endorsements: VERY IMPORANT. Another attorney vouching for you such as a peer or, even better, an opposing counsel


  1. Work experience: your legal work experience. They want to know all your legal work (avoid gaps)


  1. Education: which law school did you go to? Where did it rank? (Ivy League vs non-Ivy), do you have a PHD or other degree(s)? Which high school & undergrad did you attend? (specifically which region you studied in, have you always stayed in one location building connections?)


  1. Bar Associations: which state and local bars are you a part of (just in Florida or more than one state, kind of like extracurricular activities, do you give back?)


  1. Multiple Jurisdiction Licensing: do you practice in other states? Are you diverse/well-rounded



  1. Awards: what have you won? Show off (bar association awards, legal industry awards, or state certifications)


  1. Speaking Engagements: not a major priority but still noticeable


  1. Dates Matter: an award or speech a decade old is not as impressive as one from this year. Keep up to date


  1. Data ages: your info should be up-to-date



The Algorithm:

1) Experience: how many years working

2) Industry recognition: endorsements/peer reviews

3) Disciplinary history: do you have anything bad on your record?


Important: bad reviews can be challenged. Avvo will appraise the dispute with both parties. Be Proactive, not Reactive. Get as many positive reviews as possible. Take time to respond to both good and bad reviews (you should be especially kind with bad reviews), state your appreciation and ask what you can do better. OTHER CUSTOMERS WILL SEE YOUR REPLY.

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