Thursday, May 15, 2014

Writing Attorney Biographies

Are you loosing business because of an outdated attorney bio?

What is the first thing you do when you receive a referral for an attorney or accountant or even a landscaper or caterer?

The first thing I do is look them up online. Before I call the referral, I review their website and search LinkedIn or Facebook. If I don't like what I see, I cross them off my list and move onto the next name.

When your contacts refer prospective clients to you, the client does the same thing. Your website bio may be costing you business before you even have the opportunity to compete for it.

Don't risk loosing business because of an outdated attorney biography. Here are some tips to creating a positive impression with your online bio.

Content Should be Relevant and Targeted

  • Write your bio for your target audience. Only use legal jargon or industry acronyms that your audience will understand.
  • Focus on your current practice areas and areas you want to develop. You don't need to include every type of case you have worked on for the last 20 years.
  • Give examples of representative matters and wins. If you have permission, include client names.


Information to Include in your Bio

  • Summary: Start with a summary of your practice. Include your practice areas, strengths, differentiators, types of clients or industries, relevant career highlights, awards or leadership positions.
  • Examples: List representative matters or examples of types of cases. Try using bullets rather than paragraph format.
  • General Information: Include general but necessary information such as education, bar and court memberships, professional certifications and foreign languages.
  • Contact Details: Your contact information, email, phone, fax, address, links to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social media.
  • A Picture! Yes, you should have a professional photo. Prospective clients like to see your picture.
  • Associations: List membership in professional associations, including leadership positions.
  • Organizations: Include charitable and community organizations and volunteer positions.
  • Awards and Recognitions: List relevant awards and recognitions. You may want to highlight some of these in your opening summary.
  • Past Experience: Include past experience only if it is relevant. You do not need to include the summer you spent as a lifeguard in college or an internship in an unrelated field.
  • Publications and Speaking Engagements: Articles, blogs and presentations can help establish your credibility and should be included in your bio. Be sure to keep it relevant and within the last five years.
  • Personal Facts: If you are comfortable doing so, include some of your personal interests. 

Formatting Makes it Easier to Read

  • Use headings and bullet points to highlight key information.
  • Keep it short and concise. Avoid long paragraphs.

Keep it Current

  • Practice Areas: Include your current practice areas and areas you want to grow.
  • Publications and Speaking Engagements: Add upcoming speaking engagements. Delete publications and presentations that are more than five years old.

Make it Easy to Find

  • Include a link to attorney bios in your website's main navigation.
  • Add links to your bio from other relevant pages such as practice areas, contact information and news pages.

Stop loosing business because of your website bio. Update it today!

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  1. Experience working in a law school career services office or in a legal search firm is also beneficial. A bachelor's degree and a minimum of three years of manager-level experience in attorney recruiting, attorney professional development, or relevant field is law firms in nyc

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