During the dot-com boom, several start-ups offered business to consumer (B2C) legal web sites. Offerings varied but all failed. Now, we are seeing a re-birth, backed by heavy hitters. 

Avvo is a new start-up founded by executives with experience at successful web businesses. Today, Avvo announces that “that former LexisNexis CEO Lou Andreozzi has joined Avvo’s board of directors. In addition, Stanford Law Professor Deborah Rhode and former president of the American Bar Association and law firm veteran Robert Hirshon have joined the company’s legal advisory board.”

The home page says “We are currently in ‘stealth’ mode, so we cannot say too much. However, we can say that we are dedicated to helping consumers better navigate the highly confusing legal industry, and we are building something that no one else has built before.” So I don’t know what service(s) will be offered.

I suspect that adding experienced legal management and ethics talent to the advisory board is an effort to avoid the fate that befell dot-com predecessors. It will be interesting to see what services Avvo offers consumers (interactive advice, connecting prospects to lawyers, other) and how it navigates the tricky ethical issues.