It’s okay, you can admit it—you have judged a book by its cover. We all have! The bad news is that, on your website, people will pass similar judgment on your attorney profile. The good news is that any attorney profile can be tweaked and polished according to best practices.
Attorney profiles are incredibly important in the attorney selection process. On the majority of legal websites, attorney profiles are the second most visited page after the home page. The ultimate purpose of an attorney profile is to connect with your visitors. While a profile does need to establish expertise, the information should be delivered in such a way that it proves your ability to help them with their specific needs.
At Omnizant, we have read thousands of attorney profiles and they take all shapes and forms. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, this article includes a few key considerations for any attorney looking to revamp their attorney profile: story, tone, social proof, readability, and photos.
Tell your story
Far too often, attorneys recoil from the opportunity to share their personal stories. But we recommend that you embrace the power of the profile to humanize the attorneys at your firm.
Don’t be afraid to share your story in your bio, even if it’s not something you’ve seen done widely on other legal websites. As you craft your profile, consider answering the following questions:
- Why did you become a lawyer?
- Why did you decide to specialize in your area of specialization?
- What is the best part of your job?
- What are you most proud of in your career?
- How do you measure success?
Telling your story can foster deeper connections with visitors. While people may not connect with a list of your bar association admissions, they may very well connect to your story. You could talk about how you followed in your father’s footsteps, for instance, because you saw how tirelessly he fought for members of your community for 45 years.
Aim to align the tone of your attorney profiles with the tone of your firm.
If extreme formality is the norm at your firm, you might refer to your professionals as Mr. and Ms. exclusively. For these firms, it is wise to maintain this level of gravitas in your website’s attorney profiles.
However, if your clients tend to use attorneys’ first names, you should write the attorney profiles in a similarly informal manner. After all, why should your website visitors be treated differently than your clients?
Be aware that formality can be impressive, but it can also set a tone that is unnecessarily ceremonial—which can discourage approachability.
Do include social proof
Include social proof to help visitors imagine what it would be like to work with you. It’s not tooting your own horn, we promise!
Do share testimonials and online reviews that mention an attorney by name. Only post information that is specifically tied to an attorney’s performance or her strong relationship with clients—do not incorporate generic reviews about the firm.
Be careful with affiliations and personal accomplishments
You can include affiliations, membership, and personal accomplishments in your attorney profile—but be intentional about which information you include.
Explain why this information matters so that your visitors can understand how it benefits them.
- Does your membership group provide you with the collective expertise of 1,000+ attorneys who are trying similar cases in courts across the country?
- Does your affiliation allow you to leverage strategies that have proven effective elsewhere?
- Did your experience provide you with unrivaled insight into specific types of cases?
In other words, contextualize each affiliation through the lens of how it could help a prospective client.
Make it scannable
To help get essential information across clearly and quickly, your attorney profiles should be scannable. Use bulleted lists, short paragraphs, and photographs to highlight the most pertinent information in each profile.
Remember, visitors to your website may be very distressed by their legal issues. At the very least, they are likely to be distracted. It is your job to format all website content to help people find what they need with minimal effort.
Invest in a good photo
Finally, invest in good photos and commit to updating your attorney photos on a yearly or bi-annual basis.
A good photo is less about vanity and more about trust. If your online profile has a headshot from 15 years ago, a prospect may question how trustworthy you are when they meet you in person.
With multiple attorneys, you might want to hire a professional photographer to take cohesive portraits of your entire staff using the same style and focal length.
Review and next steps
It’s wise to put serious effort into your attorney profiles, as these pages will either encourage (or discourage) someone from reaching out.
Here are six key elements of a great attorney profile:
- Tells a good story
- Tone aligns with firm’s tone
- Social proof, like reviews
- Affiliations and achievements are put in context
- Scannable and easy to read
- Current, professional photos
Attorney profiles should communicate expertise but their ultimate purpose is to comfort the visitor by showcasing the training and experiences that prove an attorney can help someone with their specific legal needs.