You picked off the low-hanging fruit when you joined the firm. You know — those quick wins that made your lawyers take notice and gave you instant credibility? Once you had your footing, you probably shifted your attention to more-complex undertakings. You immediately put new processes and rules in place. You got your client teams up and running, and you and your team handled a round of Chambers submissions. You’re figuring out how you’re going to integrate your firm’s client intake process with a brand-new CRM system. (Good luck de-duping all those data!) You’re even working on firmwide policies for social media, anti-harassment and, ideally, a crisis communications plan.
Now, let’s dive into what you might be avoiding: your attorney bio pages. Funny thing; completing this seemingly dreaded project can have an immediate, positive impact on your firm’s bottom line. That’s because it’s often where, when and how clients make their decisions about which attorneys (and firms) are going to make their shortlists.
Need proof? Here are some statistics about the importance of attorney biographies:
- 90% of in-house counsel rely on attorney bios when researching and hiring outside counsel.
- Attorney bios rank as the second-most important resource when researching lawyers and law firms. The first is recommendations from trusted sources.
- Attorney bios are the largest driver of traffic to law firm websites. 83% of in-house counsel (up from 78% from last year) ranked lawyer bios as important when researching outside lawyers and law firms for a potential hire.
- Only 39% percent of law firm traffic enters through the home page, with direct traffic to the bios estimated at 80%.
The good news: You are not alone.
Every law firm faces this issue at some point or another. Invariably, marketers will begin to ask: How and where do we start revising our attorney bio pages? And what is the best way to handle this?
Some firms will devote time and resources to rewrite bios for every attorney. Of course, the number of attorneys in your firm typically dictates the practicality of this approach. Managing 50 bio rewrites for attorneys in a few offices is a far different project from updating bios for a firm with 700 attorneys worldwide. Yes, some large firms have managed to rewrite 700+ bios before their new sites launched!
One approach we’ve seen is to focus on only the attorneys whose bios are most often included in pitch packets or in response to an RFP. Another approach is to schedule the bio updates so far in advance of a website redesign that the launch is not delayed while you’re still waiting for rewrites. Still another is to manage the rewrites on a practice-by-practice schedule, to keep from overwhelming the firm’s marketing staff.
It always helps to see examples of great bios and helpful tips. Here are some excellent resources, written by Jaffe folks and others:
- Six Great Attorney Bios You Wish Were from Your Firm
- Seven Steps to a More Authentic, Fresher Attorney Bio
- On-Point Attorney Bios for Websites and Beyond (webinar; Legal Marketing Association membership required to view)
- How to Organize a Smooth Attorney Bio Rewrite Process
- How to Create a Stronger, Client-Focused Bio to Bring in Business and Strengthen Your Brand
If, after reading a few of these posts and having talked to your colleagues, you’ve come to the conclusion that you aren’t in a position to do this on your own, Jaffe has several smart solutions to help you get the ball rolling. Reach out to Terry M. Isner at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.