This may be the worst lawyer biography ever written.

This may be the worst lawyer biography ever written.

Below is the first paragraph of the biography of a well-known banking attorney at a national law firm.  Please read it carefully 

Point to the exact word if you find yourself skimming this:

“Harry Smith” — Mr. Smith counsels, advises and represents financial institutions and their domestic and foreign banking and nonbanking affiliates in connection with U.S. legislative, regulatory, judicial, trade, corporate, transactional and tax matters.  Having been centrally involved in the implementation of all aspects of the International Banking Act of 1978 and virtually every piece of U.S. legislation since then of interest or concern to foreign banks’ U.S. operations, head offices and/or affiliates, Mr. Smith’s representation of foreign financial institution clients focuses on strategic planning matters, corporate mergers and reorganizations, and expansion of the U.S. banking and nonbanking activities of foreign banking organizations and their U.S. and non-U.S. affiliates in compliance with the requirements of U.S. federal and state laws and regulations.

I’ll bet you began to skim in line 3. 

That’s just 1/3 of the way through the very first paragraph. You may not have even made it to the 87-word second sentence that contains countless commas and clauses.  The next four paragraphs were more of the same, but I’m not posting the rest.

The lawyer wrote this himself for the new website we were developing for his firm.  You’ll never find this version because we edited it into short, simple, sixth-grade, plain-English sentences. The final version is quite compelling — “Mr. Smith” is a heckuva lawyer. But this is how he intended to tell his story to hot prospects. In 27 years of legal marketing, I’ve written thousands of lawyer biographies, but this one represented everything bad about the cold, objective, comma-laden “lawyer speak” that some attorneys favor.

As marketers, our job is to be story tellers.

Our lawyers do important, interesting work; we need to help them tell those stories. Most lawyers write with logic, not emotion. It’s our job to sell the passion. It may be more difficult to find drama in a financial services practice than in a divorce or personal injury firm, but that doesn’t mean we can throw up our hands. It’s there. Help them find it. Then tell those stories.


Need a new brand or website?

Start by reading the definitive book on the subject, “We’re Smart. We’re Old. And We’re the Best at Everything – The World’s First No-BS Guide to Legal Marketing and Branding” available at Amazon here. 

Contact Ross directly for more information at +1.847.921.7677 or


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