The legal directory and Q&A site Avvo added a new feature, the Avvo Legal Marketplace, through which consumers can obtain proposals from lawyers interested in handling their case. Initially, this will be available for two practice areas, divorce and traffic tickets, with additional practice areas to be added later.
In the Legal Marketplace, the consumer fills out a short form describing the nature and location of the issue. The information is then provided to lawyers who practice in that area. The lawyers have three days to respond, describing the amount they would charge, how they would approach the case, along with any other relevant information. The consumer can then make a selection based on the information provided from the lawyers as well as information about the lawyer from their profile and reviews.
For lawyers to participate in the Legal Marketplace, they must have an Avvo profile. Lawyers will be able to request additional information from a consumer before responding.
The process is not binding. Consumers are not obligated to select the lowest bidder. The idea, according to Avvo CEO Mark Britton, is to give consumers “a better understanding of how the attorney will approach the case and anticipated costs.”