Properly written client stories on your lawyer biography can be wonderful and engaging testimonies of your skills, dedication, commitment to clients and to the law. That can’t happen if you post wordy, over-detailed accounts of client work.
The best matter summaries are short, snappy, stories that describe the ways you have helped your clients achieve success.
Aim for 50 words. Don’t list every party to the deal or the number of times you filed motions or the specific time the workplace accident occurred. Tell an engaging story, draw your reader in, pique their interest in learning more. Emphasize the role you played without making the story about you.
Include at least these three representations:
1. The one that was most meaningful to your client
Of all the work you’ve handled in your career, you can probably count on one hand the matters that have been truly meaningful to your clients. Describe one of them in the “representative work” section of your biography. Articulate why the result was significant for your client. Communicate the urgency of your advice. Make sure your reader knows what was at stake, and how your role in the matter was essential element of the outcome.
2. The one that was most meaningful to the world
Not every matter you work on will set precedent, establish a novel defense, create a new financing structure, have broad-sweeping implications for your principal client’s industry. But one might have. Write about it, about why it was important, about what you did to bring the issue to a successful conclusion. Go ahead and brag a little – after all, without your work, it never would have happened.
3. The one that’s most meaningful to you
It can be hard to pick favorites, but there’s probably one matter that stands out – the deal on which you cut your real estate financing teeth, the first closing argument you gave in front of a jury, the first time your mentor told you “why don’t you take the lead.” That’s work you should feature on your bio, because it was one of the most important moments in your career. Let your excitement show through.
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In other words: let your representation list take its rightful place as an essential part of the story that you’re trying to tell by using the meaningful work you’ve done to communicate your experience in your biography. And keep it short!
[Lance Godard has spent three decades within the legal profession, in-house and as a consultant, helping lawyers and practice groups grow their book of business. Connect with him on LinkedIn and follow his new work on JD Supra.]