Attorney biographies are a critical part of law firm website design, because at the end of the day, prospective clients want to know who you are as a legal practitioner, which includes your personality, legal skills, and case management expertise, before they contact you for a consultation. As such, whether you are a solo practitioner or a partner at firm with over 100 employees, writing an appealing biography for your website is a task that communicates a key piece of information that prospective clients want to read. However, there are certain attributes that most effective attorney biographies have such as:
- Being short and concise
- Focusing on your strengths as an attorney
- Personalizing the biography for the benefit of the reader
By focusing on these attributes, you will ensure that your biography appeals to prospective clients and communicates a strong message that resonates with them on a personal level, and by doing so, you will effectively set the tone of your professional relationship before a client ever calls your office or completes a contact form for a consultation.
Attorney Biographies: Best Practices
1. Make Your Bio Short and Concise
According to research conducted by Microsoft, the average attention span of a reader online has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds presently. Online readers are easily distracted and are often performing multiple tasks online while they browse content. Moreover, studies published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information have found that the average reading speed of both children and college students to be around 300 words per minute or about five words per second. What does this have to do with writing your profile? It means that you need to grab and keep a reader’s attention within the first forty words of your bio to be effective.
Moreover, you need to keep your biography short enough for a reader to consume the information quickly and concise enough to give the reader the information they need without getting distracted, which can typically be accomplished in 150-350 words.
2. Focus on your Strengths as an Attorney
Your bio can be a great place to showcase your qualifications as a practitioner, but it can also be a section of your website where you inadvertently display the wrong information such as a lack of experience. As such, you need to focus your profile on your strengths. If you have a large amount of experience, for example 10-20 years, then you certainly should highlight that in your bio along with your education.
If you have under 10 years of experience, focus on your education, professional accolades, and the number of clients you have served throughout your legal career. The reason you shouldn’t highlight 1-9 years of legal experience is you don’t want your prospective clients to conclude that you are inexperienced. Since this type of conclusion is completely subjective, you should always err on the side of caution.
Other professional accomplishments that you should incorporate into your profile include:
- Different board certifications you have received
- Unique bar licenses you have obtained
- Any works that you have written that were published
- Memberships to local bar associations and professional organizations
- The different jurisdictions you are licensed to practice in, if applicable.
3. Personalize your Biography
Professional accomplishments let a prospective client know that you are educated and qualified. However, while these accomplishments are impressive, there are over one million actively practicing attorneys nationwide, so it is completely possible, if not likely, that your competitors have professional qualifications that are equally impressive, which is why personalizing your biography is so important. Give your prospective clients information about who you are, not as an attorney but as a person. In the example above, the attorney explains that he took great pride in ensuring that appropriate cases were brought to trial, charges brought in error were dropped, and falsely accused criminals enjoyed all of the legal rights afforded to them by law. This information demonstrates how the attorney views the law as a person, not a professional.
Sharing personal experiences with you prospective clients in this way is typically accomplished through the articulation of personal experiences from your life, education, or career, and if you can’t think of an experience to incorporate into your bio, simply explain why you decided to become an attorney. The purpose of this step is to humanize your biography, and any personal information you give can normally help accomplish this goal.
Do you Need Help Writing your Bio?
The law firm web design specialists at On the Map are here to help! Our team has years of experience helping law firms design and build websites that attract new clients and rank number one on Google, and we can help you. Call our office today to speak with one of our law firm web design specialists and find out how our team can help you.