If you’re like most attorneys, you’re proud of everything you’ve accomplished, but you’ve hated writing your attorney biography since your first day as an associate. While you’ve completed much more difficult tasks in your career, getting this one right can prove to be overwhelming. You want to find the right mix of personality and expertise, leaving potential clients feeling confident about your abilities. So how do you do that, exactly? Make sure you follow these five suggestions to make sure your attorney bio creates a great first impression.
You are a critical part of marketing your practice. Clients want to learn about the attorney they’re hiring and what to expect—especially if they’ll be interacting with you often. Your bio should be an extension of your personality, and it should reflect who you are as an attorney as well as who you are as a human being. People resonate with someone they can connect with, so feel free to share aspects of your life outside of work (activities, family, etc.). And before beginning to write yours, check to see if your firm has an established template or structure for your bio as we want you to match your firm’s overall theme, message, and voice.
Show Your Passion
When someone is looking at hiring an attorney, they always want to hire the “best” one possible, so make sure that you communicate your passion as one of the reasons they should hire you. You may want to consider describing what drove you to want to become an attorney and why you enjoy helping your clients. A heartfelt paragraph that shows your excitement and passion for the practice of law can be a game-changer as prospective clients learn about you and picture what it would be like if you were representing them.
Talk about Your Success
Depending on your practice area and your applicable state bar guidelines, touting prior successes may give prospective clients a glimpse into your strategies and your diligence in representing your other clients. If you’re having trouble listing your accomplishments or figuring out how to communicate them, an effective and easy way is to find some stats about your practice. How many clients have you represented in XYZ? What percentage of your clients have you kept out of jail? What is the aggregate amount of money you have been able to recover on behalf of your clients? What percentage of cases have you won? There are countless ways to show you know what you’re doing without giving specifics.
If your focus is on a practice area in which it’s easier to show your success, keep it short. List the top 3–5 accomplishments for each practice area and do your best to make them about recent or historic wins. A quick look into your career and aptitude will help give potential clients additional things to consider when deciding between using you and your competitors.
A difficult but important thing to remember is that your bio should be just long enough to give your prospective clients enough information to want to reach out to you—but not so long that they think that they opened up a page of an Encyclopedia Britannica. Your clients want to be impressed by your biography, but they don’t want to spend three days reading it. For more senior attorneys, it can be hard to limit the amount of information to include, but you want your bio to be effective at gaining new clients, not necessarily to act as a complete CV of your career. If you have a lot you want to include, one solution is to create two versions of your biography for different situations. Use the shorter and more succinct version on the firm’s website, and save the long-form version for potential clients who want a more thorough understanding of your experience.
Keep it Up to Date
A lot of attorneys only look at their bio a few times in their career: when you’re applying to become a new associate, when you’re promoted to partner, and when you’re considering switching firms. That’s not enough. You should strive to keep your bio up to date. How often you update it depends on you and what makes the most sense for your practice. Do you need to look at it every week? No. Every month? Possibly. As a rule of thumb, look at and update your bio every quarter with any new information or wins.
The thing to remember is other lawyers are always vying for the same ideal types of cases you are. Take advantage of the things you can control by making sure your bio touts your successes and is up to date, genuine, passionate, and relatable. Don’t let your attorney bio be a barrier to more clients and more revenue. It is easy to overthink the process and make it difficult for yourself. Remember these five steps the next time you look at your attorney bio and implement them to give your prospective clients the right information about you.