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Over the last 36 years as an attorney on Long Island, New York, many people have asked me how to find a good lawyer in one particular field or another. Since I've had a lot of experience in a number of areas of law, I've always been able to suggest the right lawyer for the right job to them - based upon my own personal experience with those lawyers I refer to.
However, up until recently, there was only one lawyer evaluation service, which I found to be wanting at times. They used a very simplistic evaluation based upon questionaires that were sent out to a bunch of lawyers in the same vicinity. In fact, it was really based upon what the other lawyers thought of the lawyer in question. In other words, it was just the lawyer's reputation as generally reflected by other lawyers, whether they really knew anything about him/her directly.
Then, along came Avvo.com which is a far more accurate and efficient means of evaluating lawyers. Avvo's evaluations are based upon specific involvement in various publications, Bar Associations, cases the attorney has handled or tried, reputation as submitted by other attorney and a lot more. While some of that information is self-reported, which can always be "spun" to sound bigger than it really is, generally, the entire algorhythm used appears to represent a legitimate appraisal. I say this because I know many of the attorneys in Nassau County, New York and from what I have seen when I reviewed the evaluations given to the ones that I personally know, they appear to be accurate and consistent with my own evaluations. I must presume they are the same in all other areas of the country.
One thing that does not show yet is that while most lawyers are listed on Avvo.com, not all of them participate and submit their personal histories to Avvo. As a result, some of the very best lawyers I know have never participated and therefore, they don't have any rating issued for them. Also, in one instance (the former Surrogate of Nassau County) has a surprisingly low evaluation and I believe its because what he did for more than 20 years did not show up in the normal fashion for evaluation by Avvo and that should be accounted for in their algorhythms in the future, but by in large, Avvo is accurate.
As a result, yoiu can use those evaluations and rely upon them in most instances.
Disclaimer: I may be biased because I have been given a 10 rating and like to believe its accurate, but one can never know if they are truly being objective, regardless of how hard they try, when they are also involved in some fashion.