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Your attorney biography on various platforms is often the first introduction someone has to you as a lawyer. It is also frequently the most visible information about your professional persona. Check out this post to learn more about crafting a new bio or refreshing your old one this year.
As a general rule, people want to know more about the attorneys they are hiring and working with on various legal matters. Your attorney biography pages on your law firm website, directory profiles, and other platforms are often the most visible bits of background available about you and your practice online. As such, it should be no surprise that this biography is your first impression on many potential clients, colleagues, and occasionally even your coworkers.
Because this biography often serves as a written first impression of your professional life, you want it to effectively convey your credentials, background, and experience (or in short, your professional qualifications), while also giving a glimpse into your personality and way of working – all while staying true to the brand of your practice. Yes, this is a lot to ask for a singular piece of content. However, do not let drafting a strong biography page intimidate you.
Need help with the drafting process for such an important part of your law firm website and online presence? This post is here to help get you started on the perfect new biography, or simply to help you bring a bit of fresh air to your old biography.
Profile Elements You Must Include
First and foremost, it is important to understand the elements you absolutely must include on your attorney profile or biography page. Without including these elements, you are short-changing yourself and undermining your profile before you even get started.
Professional, Engaging Photo
Your lawyer biography pages should include an engaging photo. You do not need to be overly concerned about whether your suit is fashionable or your backdrop color. Instead, you should be focused on photo quality and professionalism.
Research shows that people are drawn to faces. Therefore, you want to be sure your photo is of professional quality and showcases your professional personality. This photo should be something you would typically be comfortable putting on your LinkedIn profile or in an online directory.
Do not feel like you must conform to the traditional, corporate headshot model. If a standard headshot suits you and your practice, you should not hesitate to use one on your attorney biography. However, you can also branch out to images with a more casual or modern feel, such as standing or folded arms, as long as they remain professional.
At the end of the day, your professional photo is worth investing in and taking some time to make sure you get it right. After all, there is a reason people say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Background and Experience
People want to understand your qualifications before they hire you as a lawyer. Therefore, you must tell them what makes you well-equipped to handle their case. Be sure to include the basics, such as where you earned your undergraduate degree and where you attended law school. If you have additional academic credentials, list them.
You will also want to discuss your experience. For seasoned attorneys, you should share the practice areas in which you have experience and your track record for success. As a new lawyer, writing about your experience may seem a bit more difficult. However, you likely still have experiences to share! Write about the opportunities you had during law school, such as clerkships and clinics. If you are a second-career attorney, be sure to explain your previous professional work and how it connects to your current role.
While writing about your background and experience, you want to be sure that you are sharing your enthusiasm for the law. Try to avoid phrasing and buzzwords that lack inspiration or are overused, such as “variety of complex matters” or “uniquely qualified.”
Consider, for example, these hypothetical sentences: “Jessica’s practice focuses on family law disputes. She is uniquely qualified to handle a variety of complex family matters.” While they are factual and describe Jessica’s practice, they could also appear in any number of attorney biographies. They do not help this lawyer stand out.
Instead, you can convey the same message with more original phrasing, such as: “After five years of practice, Jessica found her niche in building a busy family law practice. She brings a fresh perspective to each of her cases and is passionate about helping clients achieve positive outcomes in both simple and complex family matters, including pre-nuptial agreements, child custody and child support disputes, divorces, and grandparents’ rights cases.
This longer hypothetical biography still conveys Jessica’s focus on family law and her interest in various matters but helps her stand out by using more vivid, less common language and phraseology.
Awards and Accolades
Awards may not paint the full picture of an attorney’s expertise. Nonetheless, they help lawyers stand out from the crowd of legal professionals and lend extra third-party credibility to a lawyers’ qualifications. Because most awards and accolades are not given to every attorney, they help boost potential clients’ confidence in a lawyers’ ability to handle their legal matters.
You can include awards big and small. If you are a recent graduate, include recognition and accolades you received as a student. As a more seasoned professional, you will want to list newer recognition first. This can be anything from your Justia Lawyer Rating to your Avvo Rating, SuperLawyers distinction, Martindale-Hubbell’s AV ratings, and local recognition from bar associations.
Ultimately, you want potential clients to contact you for help with their legal needs. This means your contact information is an extremely important piece of creating an effective lawyer biography.
Carefully consider which convenient contact methods you want your potential clients to use to contact you. For example, some lawyers happily include their email addresses on their law firm website profiles, while others prefer only to include their phone number and office address, whether to minimize spam or for some other reason. While we always recommend giving your potential clients plenty of options to contact your firm, choose whatever contact options make the most sense for your practice.
When adding your contact information, you should include features that make it even easier for potential clients to reach out to you. For instance, equipping your phone number listings with tap-to-call on mobile devices can have a significant impact on your conversion rates.
Taking Your Profile Up a Notch
Once you have the basics defined for your profile, you can take things up a level by including optional (but strongly encouraged) information.
Being personable is one of the best ways to make a connection with a potential client. Unfortunately, that is often difficult to do when people are trapped behind computer screens. However, there are ways to let your personality shine through online content.
One of the best ways to help your personality shine through is to share a little bit of personal information about yourself in your attorney biography. You don’t want to overshare, but you do want to give a glimpse into who you are. For instance, it is great to tell potential clients a bit about your family, such as whether you are a parent or have pets, your hobbies, such as whether you enjoy hiking or watching college football, and your background, such as whether you are a native of the locality in which you practice. However, your potential clients probably don’t need to know whether you like carrots.
Demonstrating your legal knowledge is a great way to connect with potential clients and increase the likelihood that they contact your law firm. One way to demonstrate your expertise is through original content, such as blog posts or articles you have written. You can incorporate these as a feed on your lawyer profiles, so your knowledge is on display when potential clients are evaluating you as a lawyer.
Leveraging video content can be a great way to humanize your profile for potential clients even further. Whether it be a presentation you gave, a how-to video to help people better understand the law, or some sort of marketing collateral for your firm that features you, video can further increase your connections with potential clients when included on your lawyer profile.
Tone and Authenticity
Finding your voice is one of the most important pieces in creating a high-performing lawyer profile. Your profile should be authentically you. When you are genuine in your biography, it will undoubtedly better connect you with visitors to your law firm website.
Don’t be afraid to break the traditional attorney mold when working on your biography. For example, a recent article took a look at drafting a nonbinary lawyer’s biography. However, the answers to writing a nonbinary lawyers’ biography are not overly difficult. Use your preferred pronouns in your attorney profiles and share who you authentically are.
If you would prefer to speak directly to prospective clients instead of having them read a biography that sounds as if it was written by someone else, then don’t be afraid to use the first person in your writing, even if it is not how a traditional profile is drafted. At the end of the day, your biography needs to convey exactly who you are as a professional so you can connect with the right clients for your practice.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Your lawyer biography is the first introduction many clients will have to you as a professional. It may also serve as your first introduction to colleagues and members of your community. Drafting a biography that is authentic and shares all of the relevant information about your practice creates a strong foundation for your online reputation and helps you continue to make a great first impression well into the future.