Consumer advocacy is exactly what AVVO.com is providing for people looking for attorneys. With AVVO.com consumers can look at the way attorney's are rated by not only their peers but more importantly by their clients in their profile page. Morevover how an attoney communicates is another way to see how information is converyed in the attorney's answers on AVVO.com. Checking another rating system such as www.martindale.com can provide information in how other Judges and Attorney's rate that attorney. In a consulation with an attorney, that attorney is ethically bound to tell you the truth regarding type of cases and percentages won. Comprehensive understanding of the related legal field is essential. Results matter.
Also, don't forget Avvo's Track Record feature. On any attorney's profile (look at the "Overview" tab), you can see different cases that the lawyer has worked on. Track Record is unique because it enables ANY lawyer who worked on a case to comment on the case and identify co-counsel or opposing counsel in the case. The result is that you get multiple points of view regarding a case and hopefully some insight into a lawyer's performance.
Besides www.avvo.com, you should try searching your state bar website (for the State Bar of California log on to: http://members.calbar.ca.gov/search/member.aspx) for an attorney's bar admission information, disciplinary actions, education and specialty training if any. There are other sites such as Martindale.com and lawyers.com, however, only avvo.com allows attorneys to rate their peers in a relatively simple manner and allows attorneys to disseminate information regarding their cases.