Did you know that one of the most visited part of a law firm website is the bio section – especially when your “audience” is a general audience for areas such as family law or workers compensation.
Many lawyer bios are poorly written – because they are filled with what matters to the lawyer rather than what matters to the potential client.
What a client wants to find out fast is:
- how can this lawyer help me with my problem NOW
- what make this lawyer different or “stand out” in this area
- will this lawyer be easy to work with?
Here are 3 simple ways to make your bio more audience focussed:
1. Start with the present tense – what you do now – don’t tell chronologically starting with the past tense as lawyers often do
2. Get the audience into the bio – through the word YOU or refer to people similar to the audience
3. Work in what makes you different from most other lawyers – or at least why you are extra good to work with.
In family law, clients want expertise – but they are also looking for empathy and understanding and guidance. Work some of those words in.
Write what you do NOW (present tense) rather than all the past tense things like when you got admittED (past tense) as a lawyer and what university you attendED.
Sure a client likes to know you have X years experience and some may care where you went to law school – but instead of saying Larry or Lisa Lawyer was admitted in 2001 – say what you do now – and SAY how many years experience you have (in general terms – more than 10 etc – that way you don’t have to update every year)
Also work in what makes you different. Mention the law school later – but not up front. I understand in the United States, some top prestigious law schools carry a lot of persuasive weight even with everyday clients.
Many lawyers write chronologically – where they went to law school, when they got admitted, when they joined the firm, when they started in a particular area of law etc.
Just remember: a “general” client wants to know you have experience – but they are more interested in how you can help them NOW.
A growing trend in the US (slowly catching on in Australia) is adding more personal and human attributes of lawyers rather than just their qualifications. (compassionate, empathetic, dedicated etc)
This example shows the above 3 tips: (Be aware that in some jurisdictions you may not be permitted to say you specialise, You may have to say something like you practise extensively in or have extensive experience in…)
Larry/Lisa Lawyer specialises (see present tense) in helping parents through the confronting divorce and custody process.
Divorce is always difficult and it can be even more challenging when kids are involved. Larry knows the process – he’s been guiding people like you through the process for more than 10 years.
Larry/Lisa always works to resolve matters as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible through settlement and mediation rather than through a long court process. That’s why he/she has worked hard to develop the extra skills in negotiation and mediation.
(then further down the bio you can mention where you went to law school and any other special qualifications)
Now some lawyers may look at this everyday, casual language and cringe – but I ask you to remember that you are writing for an everyday audience.
So, take a look at YOUR lawyer bios.
1. Do you start with what you can do NOW? Rather than past credentials. You can list the law school, admission date etc later
2. Do you work the audience into the bio by referring to what you do for them?
3. Do you work in what makes you different? Or what you offer that’s extra?
Remember these points are specially relevant for when you have a general public audience.
The bio is technically about YOU – but it’s not really just ABOUT YOU – it’s about how YOU can help your clients!
It’s not just about your legal and academic PAST – it’s about your FUTURE relationship with your client.
Tony Biancotti helps lawyers communicate more effectively with everyday people. Tony is a former lawyer turned journalist, communication consultant, and legal marketing maverick.
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