Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common
For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.
For many solo and small firms, attorney bios are one of the most popular pages on their site. Whether you are crafting a new bio or ready to revamp your existing one, here are a few tips.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Your picture is important to potential clients. Clients like to put a face with a name and seeing your face might create an extra level of comfort for a potential client (assuming you are posting the right kind of picture).
If you present yourself as the tough-as-nails criminal defense attorney, your picture should reflect that. If you operate relaxed and family-friendly office, your picture should reflect that. Or maybe you just like pictures of trains in the background.
Whatever image you want to project, it is worth hiring a professional photographer. Posting a grainy and awkwardly cropped photo from your friend’s wedding six years ago does not look professional.
Pitch your services
Your bio should contain your elevator speech—what type of law you practice and who you can help. I can only imagine the frustration of potential clients when they cannot figure out what you actually do. Not only will it help clients who want to hire you, it may also help filter out potential clients who need help with something that you do not handle.
Many attorneys also include information about why they handle a certain type of law. If you are passionate about your area of law, that is certainly worth including, just don’t overdo it. Lastly, you may also want to include what clients should expect when they work with you: are you available on the weekends, can clients call you anytime, etc.
How did you get there?
Where you went to law school and undergrad are fairly common fare for a website bio. In addition, be sure to list other professional experience acquired during and after law school—as long as it is relevant. For example, your clerkships during law school are usually worth adding, your 1L work as a pizza delivery driver can probably be left out.
If you switched from a big firm associate to running your own show, feel free to include that experience. To many clients, that shows you have big firm pedigree and experience but without alls the bells and whistles (and high rates).
Most importantly, add anything that showcases your individuality and makes you stick out from the crowd. I had an interesting life prior to law school and my clients love to hear stories about Hollywood. I doubt it gets me any extra business, but it is good way for me to connect with them on a personal level—and strong client relationships are critical to my success as a solo attorney.
Extra bells and whistles
There are other ways to enhance your online bio, like using a video introduction. I have yet to take the leap of faith, but I am becoming more and interested in using it as a way to distinguish my site. The danger with video, however, is that it is easy to create a low-quality, cheesy, and lame video. On the other hand, there are plenty of affordable resources to help you make something at presentable, if not distinguishable.
Other easy add-ons are embedding your Twitter feed and including a visual CV. A bio may seem like a cookie cutter piece of information, but taking the time to add some personality and flare can make all the difference.