5 Tips for a Good Lawyer Bio
For many consumers, a lawyer doesn't exist unless she has a web presence.
Yes, the phone book says that you have an office on Broadway, but (1) that information could be outdated and (2) who uses a phone book anymore? Web is the way to go.
A full-fledged website is probably the most impressive option, but a blog or social media page (i.e. Facebook, Google+) is a lot cheaper. Regardless of which platform you ultimately choose, there's one element of Internet marketing that you need to nail: Your bio.
Monday, our friends over at Lawyerist explained that a good biography is a “must have” for every lawyer website because the biography is the most-visited page on a lawyer’s site. So how do you write a good biography?
Here are five tips to get you started.
- Pedigree. Prospective clients want to know where you went to law school. Lawyerist recommends listing the law school you graduated from, as well as your graduation year. Clients don’t care as much about clerkships, but they love buzzwords. If you clerked for your state’s Supreme Court — or the U.S. Supreme Court — include that information in your biography.
- Practice Areas. Your practice area(s) should be in the first line of your biography. Someone looking for a divorce attorney doesn’t want to read three paragraphs about your dedication to the pursuit of justice before finding out that you do trusts and estates.
- Make it Personal. Tell a story. Create a connection. You could list your legal victories as a series of bullet points, but Lawyerist explains that you’re better off with a short paragraph with a touch of personal.
- Skip the Jargon. In law school, you learned how to write like an attorney. Can you please forget that now? For goodness sake, leave the jargon out of your bio. Cut the résumé lingo, too. How many times do you have to read the phrase “results-driven challenge seeker” before you bang your head against your desk? Résumé lingo doesn’t fool anyone.
- Avoid Passive Voice. It’s okay to admit that you forgot the difference between active and passive voice. It’s not okay to let your ignorance of good grammar interfere with a good attorney bio. Passive voice: The case was won by me. Active voice: I won the case. (If you need a more extensive refresher, check out Grammar Girl’s explanation.) Some people think that passive voice sounds more formal. In reality, it’s bad writing and it’s hard to read.
A good lawyer bio is part of a basic lawyer marketing strategy, but there’s no need to stress about it. If the thought of writing your bio and building a Web presence is overwhelming, there are plenty of companies — including FindLaw — that can help.