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August 25, 2010

Your Clients Don't Care Where You Went to Law School

After my Law Firm Website Venn Diagram got such great feedback, I thought I'd do another highlighting one of my big pet peeves: lawyer bios.  Here you go:

  Lawyer Bio Venn Diagram
 

Comments

Maby there should be both pieces of information?

Matt, I'd have to say it does matter just not in the way you positioned them as equals. If you are writing the bio for your clients versus your peers, then order them - the client stuff first with a segue. After you've finished addressing their immediate concerns follow with "And if you're interested" - all the legal credentials. It isn't that they don't care, they don't care in the order you think they care. So give them what they want first, then provide the rest after.

Matt,
I agree with you 100%. An online viewer doesn't care what your credentials are. The ONLY thing they care about is how you can solve their legal problem.

I have been telling other attorneys this for years when they create video to market their practices. You may have noticed that the only types of video that video companies produced a few years ago were ones where the attorney stood stiffly in front of a lawyerly-looking (dusty and outdated) bookcase telling their viewer where they went to law school; how they were the editor of law review and that they clerked for some judge before making their way into the real world.

As you so clearly reveal in your Venn diagram above- nobody cares. Consumers only want to know if you have experience handling their type of case and whether you can answer their legal questions.

I do not agree with those comments about online lawyer directories and Avvo and Martindale. It also depends on who your target audience is. Are you creating content for colleagues for referrals or for consumers? There is a huge difference.

If your goal is to attract consumers, leave the "about me" page in some hidden tab, because it will never be viewed. Focus on content that will help your viewers.

Great diagram. I agree!

Good post, but your case is overstated. My private equity fund clients, and frankly all of my larger clients, could not care less whether I was on Facebook or had a blog (if it was extremely high quality, they might wonder if I spend too much time on it). Maybe my smallest clients could relate to a Facebook or Linked-in account, and certainly potentially future small clients in the younger age groups. But Chevron and the average private equity fund may even look down on it as unserious.

I think the social networking thing is more appropriate to the small firm or solo practitioner. Although I do think a large firm attorney with blue-chip clients could still find value in having a well-developed blog and a presence on directories like Linked-In, but that attorney should be judicious in his use of them.

Matt,

You're absolutely right that clients don't care about much of the stuff that lawyers put in their bios. However, that doesn't mean that lawyers should omit that information. In many practice areas, lawyers are a key source of referrals and information like bars where a lawyer is admitted or clerkships can be meaningful in making a referral.

I love it, but with a quibble. I think there are clients who do care about things like one's Avvo and Martindale ratings.

This is perfect!

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!

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