Don’t brag about law school and college honors

Lawyer AchievementsWhen you read the biographies of lots of attorneys, they tend to spend their whole time talking about law school and college honors, awards and activities.  This is especially true for newer attorneys.  The thought is that this somehow impresses potential clients.

The reality is when potential clients read biographies that focus on what somebody did in college or law school, it’s counter-productive.  It tells the potential client that the lawyer hasn’t accomplished much since completing their schooling.   It also calls this attorney out as being new and inexperienced.

Past this, it also tells the potential client something else.  It tells the potential client that the lawyer hasn’t moved on from school.  Instead of moving on fully to the adult world, they are still stuck in a student mentality.  When a potential client sees this, they aren’t seeing the adult maturity they want in a trusted legal counsel handling their important legal matter.

For potential clients, some of the information regarding schooling is interesting.  A potential client probably would find it useful to know where a lawyer graduated from college or law school.  However, even then, this part of a lawyer’s webpage biography should be more of an after-thought at the end versus something that is the at the forefront or the highlight.

This might come as a shock to some lawyers as well.  However, most potential clients are not at all interested in the clubs or activities that a lawyer took part in during college or school.  They don’t care where the lawyer graduated in their class or whether they participated in moot court, law review or whether they were on the honor roll.  This does not mean that you need to totally omit these items from your webpage profile.  But if you make these the highlight, you are going to be in trouble.

A lawyer might have enjoyed law school or college enormously.  But to succeed in getting new clients, and instilling confidence, a lawyer has to recognize that law school and college has almost no relevance to the problems of real people today.

Like the high school quarterback who relishes in their glory years, there is a time where one has to let it go.  Otherwise, they appear stuck in the past.  They appear stuck on themselves versus the needs of real people. To succeed, lawyers have to communicate in their biography that they are a mature attorney fully capable of solving the significant problems the potential client is facing.

The reality is the attorneys who get this do well in their professional career.  The lawyers who do not get this will struggle.  Instead of being busy, they will spend a great deal of time wondering why their stellar law school or college credentials aren’t causing clients to simply write them a check.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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