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

13 Responses to Your Clients Don’t Care Where You Went to Law School
  1. ValoremLamb
    August 25, 2010 | 4:54 pm

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!

  2. Leslie
    August 25, 2010 | 5:27 pm

    This is perfect!

  3. DanHarris
    August 25, 2010 | 5:54 pm

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

  4. Carolynelefant
    August 25, 2010 | 10:44 pm


    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.

  5. Craziusmexicus
    August 26, 2010 | 11:15 am

    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.

  6. Bobambrogi
    August 27, 2010 | 1:59 pm

    My dissenting opinion: link to

  7. Matthewcrider
    August 29, 2010 | 12:29 am

    Great diagram. I agree!

  8. Gerry Oginski
    August 30, 2010 | 5:44 pm

    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.

  9. Susan Cartier Liebel
    August 31, 2010 | 12:41 pm

    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.

  10. RafChmielewski
    September 1, 2010 | 3:49 pm

    Maby there should be both pieces of information?

  11. Lisa Lerman
    November 30, 2012 | 4:09 pm

    Great diagram! I’d tweak it to put a little more about competency, not just what are you really good at, not just returning phone calls, but following through, solving problems, delivering results. This diagram should go viral among lawyers and law students!

  12. Dave
    November 5, 2013 | 7:10 pm

    Great diagram; I wish folks didn’t care about irreleavant things like law school (esp when you’ve been out a long time); but the cachet of the big name still holds sway in Board cya activities (“you can’t go wrong for hiring Fred who was Princeton/Harvard”) and with GCs in the club of self-promotion — “if I went to that school it must have been better than the others” Brand still matters; why else would Big Law exist?

  13. Larry Port
    November 11, 2013 | 2:11 pm

    I think this is great advice IF you are seeking lower end clients and are competing with commoditized legal services. It’s also great advice IF you’re not interested in building a quality referral network.

    But I can tell you for me this rings hollow. As a legal consumer willing to pay money for quality legal services, I WANT to see those credentials.

    And if you find that your best leads come from referral sources, run screaming in the other direction. Any professional needs to communicate in the vernacular of the profession, and by not doing so you will undermine trust with others in the field.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?