Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Have You Read Your Attorney Bio Lately?

biosHere’s a little risk management exercise: go to your website right now and read your attorney bio.

If it’s like most attorney bios, it provides a lot of data but little juice.

There are facts about your education, your hometown, your degrees and accomplishments. There is probably a head shot.

But is there a heart beating under all that information?

“Often times, I’ll see attorney bios that are just a list of facts and figures about the attorney,” write legal marketers Larry Bodine and Victoria Blute. “‘Attorney John Smith was born here, went to school here, graduated in this year.’ It’s a shame, because these bios don’t give any sense of what that attorney is like, and that can be a real turn-off for potential clients.”

Bring Your Bio To Life

Boring attorney bios often begin with a recitation of academic institutions, degrees earned, states of licensure, courts of admission. The irony is that the more accomplished the counsel, the more numbing it can be to slog through great chunks of wiki-like personal details.

“Before your potential clients or referral sources consider your accomplishments, they want to know about you as a person,” says this source. “The old saying, ‘People won’t care about what you know until they know how much you care’ is fitting.”

There’s nothing wrong with selling your credentials. It’s a good thing. But consider putting your autobiography on a separate page with a clickable link.

Start out by selling who you are now – and what you can do for the client right now – rather than listing all the things you have done up until now.

Make Your Bio Speak For You

Good attorney bios jump out and grab you from the start. They might start off by mentioning something notable that makes the attorney stand out or be recognizable (in a positive way, of course). It doesn’t have to relate to the law.

A lawyer in Virginia opens her bio by mentioning her two state high school lacrosse championships, then she goes on to introduce her sports and entertainment law practice.

Here are some suggestions from Bodine and Blute:

1. Write about your journey to the law. Show your potential clients that you care about them, their case and your practice.

2. What motivates you as an attorney and a person? The deeper you can dig for the things that motivate you outside of just winning or making money, the more you can make it about your potential clients. Ask yourself: what drives you to do what you do. What inspires you?

3. Whom do you surround yourself with? What kinds of extracurricular activities are you a part of? Do you support some kind of youth group? Are you a member of charities? What do you do for the community? What helps you define yourself outside of the law?

4. Whom have you helped? Discuss cases more generally, think about the type of person you typically help. Paint a picture of who you’ve helped and why you enjoy doing that.

5. What have you done? Take a publication, for example. Talk about what it means to you to have been selected, how the selection process worked, why it’s a big deal. Give it some context.

How does your bio look? How can it be improved?

Source: National Trial Lawyers

About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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