Categories: Bankruptcy

What is Avvo and How It Can Help you Find a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Half the year has passed and according to creditslips.org, there have already been about 495,000 bankruptcy filings in the whole US through July 2015. The number is expected to reach to about 800,000 bankruptcy filings by the end of the year. While that number is lower than 2014, it is still a significant amount of people needing bankruptcy protections to let them organize their finances.

When filing for bankruptcy, make sure that you seek help from legal professionals to know if you are making the right move. While bankruptcy is a helpful legal tool that you can cling to when you are at your financial lowest, it does have some pitfalls as well that an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help navigate you through successfully.

Don’t choose just any law firm, however—you still have to be very careful about who you choose to help you. Face it, in any profession there are people who are only looking for the quick buck and do not really care about the welfare of their clients. The law profession is no different; there are law firms who are just after getting clients but not really interested in helping them recover from bankruptcy.

So how do you choose who the right lawyer is for you? One tool that can help you out is Avvo. People mistake it for being similar to Yelp because of its reviews function, but it’s much more than a simple review site. Avvo is actually a Q&A discussion forum where people are able to ask questions and legal professionals answer them for free. It also has a rating system that ranks lawyers to give people a point of comparison.

How can it help you choose a lawyer?

What separates Avvo from other review sites is that it features three various perspectives on lawyers that you will not find in other websites. These are:

  • Client ratings. This allows past clients to leave reviews about their experience with the lawyer in question.
  • Peer endorsements. These are endorsements from fellow lawyers
  • Avvo rating. This refers to a rating scale of 0 to 10, with 10 giving the lawyer a Superb title. The rating factors in the law school attended, work experience, awards, bar associations and other memberships, articles published, judicial clerkships, other ratings like Superlawyers, and peer endorsements.

With these three perspectives, it will give you a better idea about the capabilities of a prospective lawyer.

Why not just pick the lawyer with the best Avvo rating?

It is important for you to remember that the system is not perfect. An Avvo rated lawyer with a “9”  is not necessarily a better lawyer than one who received an  “8.”  And like most Internet-based rating system, the lawyers rating can be altered by the information that the attorney has provided. That is why you Should reference many different sources when choosing which attorney is right for you.

The Avvo rating is just one tool so it will not give you an instant answer, but it’s a very good place to start. Use the information you get from this tool and combine it with your own research. Do not zero in on just one lawyer; research a number of lawyers and create a shortlist of those you feel are qualified.

Once you have your list narrowed down to a few qualified attorneys, talk to each one of them. Most law firms offer free consultations so it won’t cost you to contact each one. With the Avvo ratings, combined with your own research and personal consultations, you should be able to get the law firm that is right for you.

About Chad Van Horn

Chad T. Van Horn, Esq. is a South Florida business leader and founding partner attorney of Van Horn Law Group, P.A. Through a combination of dedicated philanthropy, spirited entrepreneurship and legal expertise, he applies his resources and network to helping people. Learn more about Chad Van Horn

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