By Kevin O'Keefe

Promotional content > lawyer bios

Cast yourself in a different mold than the standard bios you see in law firm Web sites. Sure, you need the standard stuff about where you went to school and what states you are licensed in. But individual bios are a good place on your Web site to distinguish yourself from other lawyers. Start doing this by empahasizing those things that are important to average people as opposed to you and other lawyers. You can even let your hair down a bit while still being professional. Plus, you must kidding if you think people choose lawyers by their law school and whether they won an award in evidence class. And when was the last time a new client asked: “Are you licensed in this state?”

What are the goals for lawyer bio’s?

  • Personal connection with lawyer – want folks to say I can relate to this guy
  • Cast expertise beyond the bare bones, ala old Martindale-Hubbell listings
  • Convey information that is important to prospects as opposed to lawyers. Schools, bar associations and the like are not the reason the vast majority of people hire lawyers

The layout and written copy of the bios can and, until lawyer’s sites improve, should be different from other law firm sites. Be personable. Tell a brief story. Express things you’re most proud of. Even wear your heart on your sleeve if you feel comfortable. Get your site audience thinking this is a pretty nice person that likes and enjoys what they do. They may even be having fun practicing law. Plus it sounds like they are pretty good at it.

Here’s what to include for each lawyer (in order of priority):

  • Contact information
    • Email with hotlink
    • Location, if firm has more than office
    • Direct telephone line
    • Cell (consider client convenience)
    • Administrative assistant name, email, phone & link
  • If departments in firm, where lawyer spends majority of time
  • Photograph
  • Lawyers status in firm (associate, partner, of counsel)
  • Areas of experience & specific matters handled; emphasize recent, date of matter handled and details of matter (similar to presentation of firm’s profile)
  • Other professional experience (CPA, banker, executive, etc.)
  • Recent publications linking to pieces on or off site (newsletters, FAQ’s, articles); do not put up old or drab content, it will make firm look old & stodgy
  • Blog link, professionally related (could be given much higher priority depending on frequency of posts)
  • Media coverage including reprints and linl to media Web site if available
  • Membership and leadership positions in trade & civic organizations
  • Honors & awards received; recent, not ones from law school unless recent grad
  • Board certified? Describe what means, visitors do not know (get language from bar certification site & link to it)
  • Martindale rating; explain what it means
  • Pro bono efforts
    • Detail organization & who benefits
    • Detail what you do
    • Detail why you do it
  • Membership, leadership & teaching for bar associations & legal organizations; again describe mission of association(this will be their site), visitors do not know purpose of ATLA etc. (link to association site)
  • Schools & Degrees (links to schools’ sites)
  • Link to personal page, if available, with information and photographs about lawyer outside the office

Here’s some examples of bios on law firm sites (I will get more):

This gives you a guide of what you can do and what to include. Please take advantage of this opportunity to express yourself and distinguish yourself from other lawyers. Show people you care, are passionate and have the experience to get the job done.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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