Avvo, Inc. — never a company shy about about pushing the envelope — has just pushed it a bit further, with the launch of Avvo Advisor, a service that provides on-demand legal advice by phone for a fixed fee of $39 for 15 minutes.
The service is available to consumers online or through a free iOS app. To use the service, the consumer first enters his or her zip code and then selects the type of legal matter in which he or she needs help. The consumer is then asked to provide credit card and contact information. The service promises that the consumer will receive a call from an attorney within 15 minutes or else the consumer’s fee will be fully refunded.
The service covers nine legal categories: small business, divorce, family, immigration, real estate, landlord-tenant, criminal defense, employment and bankruptcy/debt.
It is so far available to consumers in 15 states, with more to be added in the coming months: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
“At Avvo, we want to make access to legal help as routine as getting a medical check-up, and Avvo Advisor is a game-changing step towards that goal,” said Mark Britton, Avvo’s founder and CEO, in a press release announcing the service. “Avvo Advisor provides professional legal help to consumers on their terms, with clear pricing and on-demand delivery, saving significant time, money and hassle – the very things that keep many people from hiring a lawyer.”
A separate section of the site provides information for attorneys wishing to enroll in the program. All an attorney needs to participate, it says, is a bank account and a mobile phone. “You control your availability via text, whenever and wherever you want to receive Avvo Advisor sessions.”
Avvo notifies the attorney via text when someone purchases a session in the attorney’s state and practice area. The attorney responds to the text to claim the session, then has 15 minutes to initiate the call. Once the call is finished, the entire fee is deposited to the attorney’s account (so there is no fee splitting).