The term "bio" is used to mean a legal professional's biography on either a firm or corporate legal department's website. The term also applies to a legal professional's summary on social media sites. The secret is that there are six key considerations that must get thought about prior to writing any bio or summary. And, these considerations apply to all types of legal professionals – from attorneys to paralegals to legal administrators to legal support staff.
1. Know your Target Audience
A quick question here is: who are you most interested in communicating to regarding your background? Your target audience will likely depend on what type of legal professional you are. Attorneys will want to tailor their bios/summaries to speak to other attorneys and potential clients. Paralegals, and most other legal professionals, will want to forget about the client aspect, and tailor their information to hiring managers and supervising attorneys. The key is to realize what type of legal professional you are, and then target that audience that will get you hired – or at least, bring you opportunities.
2. Give Thought to your Outlet
As stated above, bios or summaries can appear on websites and social media outlets. While communicating your background, think about which one of these you are using. A firm or company website might call for a more formal bio that is directly related to your position within the firm or business. On the other hand, a social media outlet may allow for a more generalized background in a slightly more relaxed tone.
Thought should also be given as to what social media platform you are using. For example, consider the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn. The former might allow for more generalities and a looser tone than the latter.
3. Specify Areas of Practice
Yes, we mentioned you can be general when describing your background. However, never be too general when it comes to the practice area you work in. Identify with specificity the legal fields you practice in, or the attorneys for whom you support, practice in. If you're a non-attorney and work for attorneys practicing in a variety of specialties, try to include them all.
4. List Accomplishments and Memberships
This is a time where you can brag. If you're fortunate enough to have received awards or accomplishments in the past, list them. The best way to do so is via simple bullet points.
The same holds true for any memberships a legal professional enjoys. This is important since many employers and/or clients like to affiliate themselves with persons involved in the same groups. If you can solidify an immediate commonality via a membership you belong in, the result is very rewarding.
5. Provide Personal Information
Don't let your bio or summary become completely stale. Include some personal information to make it a bit more exciting and engaging. Personal info can include details as to your hobbies, family, place of birth, and interests.
6. Include a picture
Most professionals want to work with someone that they can envision or see. So, if possible, it's critical to post a picture of yourself when detailing a bio or summary. Don't try and go the easy route by taking a random selfie, but do take the time to capture a professional photograph that is work-appropriate.
Attention grabbing bios and summaries are highly important for legal professionals. They can get you hired, open new doors, and grab the attraction of new clients. When drafting them, please keep the above in mind. Make your backgrounds sing and go after that new opportunity you've been waiting for. If you have questions along the way, simply contact us and let us help!