5 Ways to Write An Attorney Bio That Clients Will Remember

JD Supra Perspectives
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Are the lawyer biographies on your website memorable? They should be: it’s estimated that bios garner 80% of the traffic on law firm websites, so meaningful bios are among the most important weapons in your marketing arsenal. Written correctly, people remember them, because they articulate the strengths of your team, the differentiators of your firm, the reasons clients should hire you and what to expect once they do.

Unfortunately for most lawyers – and most firms – there’s nothing memorable about their biographies at all. More often than not, lawyers treat them like formalities: a list of practice areas, of schools and degrees, of courts and jurisdictions, perhaps some client names and the dollar value of matters they’ve handled.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five ways to write remarkable biographies: 

1. Write with a specific person in mind

When you try to be all things to all people, you generally fall short. On the other hand, if you write with a specific person in mind, like the HR director at a 250-employee company or the associate GC at a global public company, your biography will be focused on the very issues that concern that person – and everyone else who has a similar role.

2. Don’t just talk about you 

There’s no irony in that statement: you need to try as hard as you can to make your clients the focus of your bio. There’s a difference between “I know how to file patents, copyrights, and trademarks” and “the investors I work for regularly look to me to protect their intellectual property with patents, copyrights, and trademarks.” Guess which one people will find more interesting to read?

3. Update, update, update 

It’s easy to neglect your biography – because you don’t have time, because you don’t think you’ve recently done anything significant, because you don’t enjoy working on it – but stale, out-of-date information can be worse than nothing at all. Develop a system for regular updates. Schedule quarterly bio meetings with your marketing director. Draft success stories at the end of every client engagement. Set up a “bio revisions” email account to which you forward all correspondence related to activities that communicate what you know and why it matters. Stick to that system relentlessly.

4. Pique your reader’s interest 

You can’t possibly list every accomplishment, every award, every client, or every matter you’ve handled in your biography. Nor would you want to. The objective of a good biography isn’t to get you hired – that will never happen – but rather to make you interesting. To make you credible. To pique the interest of your reader so that they answer the phone when you call or maybe even dial your number when they need help. 

5. Be yourself 

Clients hire lawyers they like, lawyers they trust, lawyers who share their beliefs and their interests and their passions. Devote some of the space in your biography to the things you do outside the office, to the causes for which you volunteer, to how you spend your weekends. To the things that make you the person you are. Remember: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And who’s gonna hire a dull lawyer? 

Lawyer biographies are the perfect tool for telling your story. Don’t treat them like a formality. 

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[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.]

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