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Can You Be Too Professional for Your Clients?

I’m helping another lawyer write her bio for her website. She’s an interesting person filled with energy who’s living a big and exciting life. She has kids, friends, interests, and activities. She’s about as far from the easy chair in front of the TV as you can get. She’s a dynamo.

Yet her bio threatens to be boring. She wants to be sure we don’t say anything that might offend anyone. She’s worried that some detail or another about her personal life will turn off a particular potential client.


What she’s pushing me to do is pull out all the interesting stuff. We’re going to end up with a generic biography citing her educational and work achievements. It’s going to look like nearly all the bio pages of all the other lawyers in the world. It’s going to be unremarkable, and it’s not going to stand out. This is a hot topic in the legal blogging world. You can read the opposing opinions of Matt Homann and Bob Ambrogi.

Potential clients deserve more. In our family law arena, they want more. They’re deciding whether to trust you with the most important and personal details of their lives.

You’re going to expect your clients to reveal themselves to you. You want them to trust you. Trust is built on mutual self-disclosure. The bio page is a great place to start. Give them a glimpse of you. Nothing crazy—just a glimpse.

You don’t have to reveal how much you enjoy cross-dressing or what you did to that cat in college. You don’t have to explain why the fire department had to be called that night. You won’t even have to provide details explaining that stain your housekeeper discovered. Just give them a little something. Let them look under the hood and get a feel for what you care about, what you’re interested in, and what difference you hope to make in the world.

Give a little, and you’ll get something in return. Let them know who you are. Stand out from the crowd. Be different, and you’ll get more clients: they’ll trust you more, and they’ll be the right clients for you.

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  • http://makingdivorceworkblog.com Diana Mercer

    Hi Lee:

    I’m new to your blog but a big fan of the ABA Family Advocate. I totally agree with your post above….people work with people who they know and who they like. And if you don’t let them get to “know” you then how can they know or like you?

    Your unique story, background, or reason for practicing law (or anything else) is what makes you irreplaceable, rather than a commodity. Think Apple vs. PC. You’re never going to appeal to everyone. But that was always true. So why not REALLY appeal to the kind of people who will want to hire you?

    Keep up the good work!
    Diana Mercer
    co-author, Making Divorce Work (Penguin 2010) and Your Divorce Advisor (Simon & Schuster 2001).

    • http://www.rosen.com Lee Rosen


      Welcome to the blog. I appreciate you being here. I love the “think Apple vs. PC”, that’s perfect.



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