So you need to get a portrait taken for your marketing materials. Your website bio needs a picture, and you could also use a default photo for speaking engagements. You are important, or at the very least need to look important so important people will think you are important.

When deciding on the backdrop for your profile photo, you may have thought about using the law books in your office.1 Why not? It seems like the go-to for lawyers. It tells your clients that you have read a lot of books, so they do not have to. In fact, this is the exact reason most doctors’ portraits are taken in front of cadavers.

Law books as a backdrop are generic. If you want to be a generic lawyer, by all means stand in front of a generic backdrop. But if you are into rebellion, here are a few ideas to set you apart from your unoriginal peers.

Hard Drivesshutterstock_103161299

Hard drives are the new books. Fact.

Standing in front of ink-covered sheets of wood pulp is so 1800s. Standing in front of a row of computer processing power that will likely be obsolete in eighteen months is very 2015. Hard drives are the law books of the 21st century.

How many books can you fit on a shelf? 30?

How many e-books can you fit on a hard drive? 30,000,000?

So which is more impressive now?

Featured image: “Confident Businesswoman in Datacenter 3D” from Shutterstock.

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  1. This tradition purportedly started with the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay, who could be seen holding a book in a portrait. Not wanting to feel inferior to Justice Jay, later Chief Justice Edward Douglass White reportedly stated, “Jay is holding one book. Put a whole lot of books behind me so it looks like I read more books than him.” 


  1. Since Matthew & Drnovsek Law is in Chicago, we figured the downtown cityscape would work.

  2. John Colby Cowherd says:

    You forgot to mention the use of a framed law school diploma or bar admission certificate as a photo backdrop. I know some great attorneys who use this for their profile, but I never liked it.

  3. Dolgion Khurelchuluun says:

    Taking picture in front of computer servers is the coolest one, but no one will see him/her as a lawyer.

  4. Christina Scalera says:

    This is hilarious. Love it.

  5. Tori White says:

    May I add sitting at a round (not square) conference table conversing (congenially) with similarly suited lawyers (actors). Because, really, all lawyers get along… apparently.

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