Should You Leave Your Law School off Your Firm Bio Page?
Throughout my legal career, I’ve heard lawyers voice concern about whether their law school alma maters will reflect poorly on their professional reputations. I've had clients share the very same concern when deciding what information to include in their firm bios.
Are you among them?
Whether you are an Ivy League lawyer or you hail from a small regional school, you emerged after three years as an attorney. With few exceptions, the rigorous education, training, and professional formation is the same whether your school is old and renowned, new and emerging, or right in the middle of the famed U.S. News Top Law Schools list.
That said, fight the urge to blanch when you tell people where you went to law school. If your end goal is to be an exceptional lawyer in the day-to-day reality of running a law firm, then it really doesn’t matter. The reputation you develop as a practicing attorney will speak for itself.
Nonetheless, you may still have qualms about including your law school on your firm bio page. If so, here are a few factors to consider.
Ask yourself why you feel tempted to omit it. Is it because you are intimidated or embarrassed that you didn't attend a Tier-1 school? Is it because your school has earned notoriety for being shut down, sanctioned, de-funded, or caught engaging in some type of nefarious activity? If the latter, consider whether neglecting to mention your alma mater would arouse suspicion. If the other attorneys in your firm proudly tout their schools on their bio pages, readers may wonder why you did not include yours.
Consider your client base. Depending on your practice, your clients may not note, or even care about, your academic pedigree. In many practice areas, clients are likely to care far more about qualities like compassion and a demonstrated commitment to service than the ranking of your law school. Think about your audience - who you serve and would like to continue to serve - in deciding what to do.
Focus on your strengths. If you're concerned your law school's name doesn't pack a powerful punch, drive home your tangible, demonstrated strengths: your pro bono hours, community leadership, awards, stellar reviews from clients, and more. Make these items the centerpiece of your bio page, and any concern about your academic record will fall by the wayside.
Still have questions? Start with my
on how to improve your law firm bio page. Or,