I recently came across an article that illustrates the disparity between what lawyers provide in their biographies compared to what clients want to know.  Wow.  Take a look.

A  diagram shows the difference between what lawyers put in their biographies, and what clients look for in lawyer biographies.

The article also provides some useful advice about what to include in bios to engage clients and prospects. Here are some additional thoughts.

Focus on the reader not the writer

As the circles above demonstrate, most people do not care where you went to school, how many degrees or fancy titles you have, whether you worked for a Fortune 100 company or a judge, or whether other lawyers think you are brilliant. None of that information addresses whether you are the right person to handle their particular matter.

Therefore, when writing your bio, you may want to consider an approach that focuses on what might be relevant to the reader — your clients and prospects.

Three things clients want to know

  • What types of problems do you solve?
  • For who?
  • How did you solve these problems?

o What is unique about your approach, and how do clients benefit?
o What favorable outcome do your clients generally achieve because of you?

The answers to all these questions should be brief and to the point so you don’t lose the reader.


Here is a template to use for reframing your biography (written and oral) to address these points.

I work with _______ [type of client] who have ________ [type of problem] and find _________ [that limits them in this way]. Because I bring ________ [experience handling these matters successfully, worked on the other side, etc.], I help the client _________ [solve the problem] and they are able to ________ [achieve a certain business objective] _________ [without too much pain].


I work with Fortune 100 companies who are constantly audited by the IRS and find they are using lots of in-house counsel time dealing with tax matters as opposed to working on other major issues affecting the company’s day-to-day operations. Having worked at the IRS and being a CPA as well as an attorney, I speak the agency’s language and generally resolve these audits quickly and favorably without expensive and time-consuming litigation.

I work with Fortune 500 companies whose business practices have been challenged as unfair to consumers by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and who find that they have difficulty managing the negative press associated with these challenges, especially when protracted. Having been the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, my understanding of the FTC’s mindset and deep knowledge of consumer law, helps ensure swift resolution of these matters that maximize their ability to achieve their long-term business goals without unnecessary downtime.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Sira Aeamwong.