Lawyers and Doctors have a special place in our society. Most of us need them at some time or the other. Avvo is a directory focused on lawyers and doctors, allowing us to search them based on their area, expertise, user ratings and other criteria. Now its Avvo API provides the same functionality to your applications.
Avvo first got started with a legal directory where you could search for Lawyers based on various criteria. Avvo also provides a profile page for the Lawyers where you can get details on the lawyer along with their user ratings. One of the criteria by which a particular lawyer can move up the ratings is by actively participating in the Question and Answer section named “Ask a Lawyer” on the site and demonstrating their knowledge on the questions asked. In November, Avvo extended this concept further and have replicated the Lawyer model to Doctors.
With an interesting directory like that, the next logical step to widen their data reach was to create an API for developers. Avvo did just that by announcing the Avvo API for developers to build their own sites and applications on top of the information. If you have a health portal and would like to tap into a Doctor directory, the API could be very useful there.
To get started, refer to the documentation page that contains API resources that are cleanly separated into Lawyers and Doctors, depending on which resource you want access to. To start using the API, you will need an Avvo account, which you can get by applying for it via the API page. The API is REST based and returns JSON data.
An example call to get the list of Lawyers in Seattle with the keyword DUI is shown below:
The JSON response returned is comprehensive and gives you access to each lawyer's name, rating, specialties, phone, address, profile URL and client reviews URL. A nifty part of the JSON response is also the indication if the result is a sponsored listing with the advertisement page for the Lawyer.
There is also an API console to try out the API, but first you will need an Avvo account.
It's interesting that the Avvo API gives developers access to a lawyer and doctor directory. The directory is not just a static one, but one where the current and future clients actively engage in serious discussions with the stakes high for the individual lawyer/doctor. Since these two professions are sensitive in nature, it must be a challenge for Avvo to keep the directory of the highest standards without ending up into any legal issues with the lawyers themselves.