Jay Parkhill June 29th, 2007
Plenty has been written recently about newish sites avvo.com and thefunded.com. Each seeks to add a layer of transparency to the otherwise murky-seeming fields of law and venture capital by listing people and firms and providing a rating system.
I think the idea behind both sites is good, though I am sure that there will be inequities in rankings, re-working of the systems etc. What interests me more is why people have chosen those two fields to cover.
Someone once pointed out to me that picking a lawyer is like choosing a car mechanic. Unless you are one yourself you don’t really know what they are doing. Even if things work out well you don’t know if it’s because of something your lawyer/mechanic did or in spite of it. You really only know if they screwed up.
And in fact this applies to every service profession, from accounting to x-ray technician. So why did lawyers and venture capitalists get chosen to be ranked?
My guess is that they are seen as gateways to cash. VCs invest it, of course, and the stereotype is of an insular group that makes decisions based on criteria few really understand. Business lawyers can provide introductions that help companies get cash or otherwise move the business forward. Litigation often works around the idea that cash should be in one place and not another as well.
This probably isn’t a huge revelation to anyone. It’s interesting to me, though, that I haven’t seen any similar services for doctors. Health is important, right? Wouldn’t it be useful to know if a doctor you’d been referred to had a good reputation?
Maybe this service is out there and I just haven’t seen it. If anyone has seen a doctors’ ranking site, please let me know in the comments.
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