My prediction: Video clips of attorneys will soon become a standard part of attorney bios on websites. Why? Because video has the potential to have enormous emotional impact on prospective clients -- far more impact than text and still photos alone.
Why is this important?
The business landscape for professional service firms is currently undergoing a major shift. Clients are now increasingly willing to hire attorneys located halfway around the world (as long as they have the exact right skill set and a reputation for success). And as it becomes increasingly common for attorneys to pitch business long-distance -- without ever meeting in person -- legal marketers will be looking for technologies that will help bridge the distance. And that’s where video comes in.
Do in-house counsel want to watch videos?
According to a March, 2009 survey of General Counsel performed by the Wicker Park Group, two thirds of the respondents “expressed interest in video interviews that would appear in the lawyer bios.” Several respondents explained that video “would be helpful in evaluating a lawyer’s demeanor, presence or style…” This number has probably grown since March 2009, considering the shifts that continue to occur in the business landscape for law firms.
What’s stopping firms from embracing video?
Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s taking so long. I think that there is probably a lot of latent demand for video. Once a prestigious firm launches a website with video interviews of all of its partners, everyone else will jump on the bandwagon. One of the video experts I spoke to for this post said that their company is currently negotiating a big deal with a major firm. So, perhaps we’ll see this happen soon.
What are firms doing now?
In researching this blog post, we scoured the web looking for examples of videos on attorney bios. We didn’t find many. Of the firms currently using video, it appears most are just starting to experiment with it.
Listed below are all of the examples we could find. If you know of other firms using (or producing) good attorney profile videos, we’d love to know about them. Please leave a comment that includes a link.
Note: This list only includes attorney profile videos. We did not include any videos promoting an entire firm or practice area. Also important to consider: lots of smaller firms - especially personal injury plaintiff firms – are using video. However, most of these videos had low production values, so we didn’t include them on our list.
These videos are impressive. They use a documentary-style approach that focuses on the personal lives of their attorneys. The production values are very high and I imagine the videos weren’t cheap to create. Note: Axiom is not a law firm proper. As I understand it, it is more of a placement firm. Either way, their videos are worth watching.
McMahon Butterworth Thomson
This small New Zealand firm’s site features nicely produced attorney videos. That said, their use of a stark background, funky-chair props and peppy background music might be a bit too much for some US firms.
This three-attorney firm in Louisiana does a nice job with their videos. Each of their partners has several video clips answering questions like: “Why did you choose to work for Babcock Partners?” and “Where do you see this firm in the next five years?”
Several partner bio pages on the Lowenstein site include video clips, each 30-40 seconds long. The clips show an attorney speaking about themselves and the firm.
Wow, are these video used small! They are placed on the attorney bio page in place of a headshot photo -- which is probably what dictated the postage-stamp size.
Several of Proskauer’s bio pages include videos of an attorney speaking about themselves and their practice. The videos use nice interstitial graphics. Additionally, at least one attorney’s bio page includes a video of him speaking at a symposium.
Intelligent Video Solutions is a video production company that created a series of excellent attorney profile videos for Loeb and Loeb. The videos, which include music, b-roll footage and voiceover, focus on both the personal and professional sides of the attorneys’ lives. Interestingly, none of the videos appears on the attorney bio pages of the Loeb website.
Legal Minds TV is a video production/marketing company that also helps attorneys distribute their videos. Their clients include firms like Pillsbury and Dorsey & Whitney. Interestingly, most of their clients do not include the videos on their website bio pages, probably because those pages are not designed to easily accommodate them. I particularly like Legal Minds' approach because they have the attorneys talk about issues that their clients are dealing with. This “thought leadership” style is very different from the conventional approach of having lawyers talk about themselves.