How Lawyers can Build Their Personal Brand | Five Ways to Bring Employers to You

Written by: Anne Sadler
Published on: 23 Nov 2023

Lawyers Personal Brand

  • When searching for legal jobs, your CV is just the starting point. That short summary of experience, skills, and qualifications might move you to the ‘maybe’ pile – but an employer’s decision to interview is often influenced by a deeper dive online.

    According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, 71% of hiring managers agree that checking candidates' social media profiles is an effective method of screening applicants. And 67% say they use social networking platforms to research potential recruits.

    It’s always wise to do a sweep of your social channels before looking for Lawyer jobs – deleting posts, photos, and images that could appear unprofessional. But what if you could use your online presence to gain the advantage and maximise your attractiveness as a candidate? So when a hiring manager Googles you, they get compelling proof you’re the right Lawyer for their firm.

    The secret is to develop a strong personal brand conveying the legal expertise, credibility, and charisma your CV can’t. It’s the extra edge firms look for when taking on new talent and a critical differentiator in a crowded hiring market. Crucially, your brand can also be the bridge to lucrative unadvertised roles, meaning recruiters seek you out directly before approaching other applicants.

    Here are five key steps to get you started:

  • 1. Define your point of difference

    Personal branding is essentially career-focused content marketing. It involves packaging up and promoting your knowledge, opinions, and professional activities to engage valuable contacts and potential employers. LinkedIn posts, thought leadership pieces, and public speaking are all examples of personal branding at work.

    The goal is to showcase your employability and establish your authority in a specific discipline. So, to define your unique brand, pinpoint what sets you apart. Consider questions that narrow down your legal niche, including:

    • How do you excel within your practice area?

    • Where does your experience lie?

    • How do you make a difference each day?

    Perhaps you’re a passionate advocate for pay equality or understand intellectual property law like no one else. Aim to single out a specialism that spotlights your strengths and supports your future career goals. From there, you can build a platform that sparks connections and captures employers’ attention.

  • 2. Look for opportunities to excel

    For businesses to want you on board, your brand has to be believable. This authenticity comes from knowing your subject inside out and earning quality, credibility-boosting experience.

    If you’re currently in a Lawyer job, seize every chance to sharpen your technical expertise, demonstrate initiative, and take on high-profile work that catches the eye of the industry. If you’re not currently working, explore pro bono or volunteer roles that provide meaningful growth opportunities.

    Whatever your practice area, find ways to develop your capabilities and do your job exceptionally well.

  • 3. Stay visible

    Consistent visibility elevates your reputation across the legal sector, making it easier for recruiters to discover you. Writing informative articles and regularly blogging for your firm are effective routes to raise your standing as a subject matter expert. But to really get noticed, you need to target industry publications.

    Appearing in the local business press and on specialist legal sites will solidify your standing as a thought leader. You can read some of our Lawyer interviews from our ‘Voice of Law’ series on TotallyLegal. In addition, you could look into speaking and presenting opportunities at local and national events and follow up any engagements with posts on your social channels.

  • 4. Expand your network

    While having a powerful online presence is vitally important, the web’s not the only place recruiters search for senior legal talent. Attending industry networking sessions can raise your Lawyer profile in person and position you as the ‘resident expert’ in a particular practice area.

    After the event, connect with new contacts online and use the experience to expand your reach. Thank the organisers on their socials, share a post with your followers, and blog about discussion points to kickstart conversations. Alternatively, if you work remotely, you can read more advice on how to network when you’re working from home on our blog.

  • 5. Build your online profile

    The expression ‘everything is content’ applies here – as long as it aligns with your brand. Develop the habit of transforming professional activities, sector news, and current legal issues into helpful and informative material. Then use tools like LinkedIn, X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram to amplify your message.

    • Ensure your bios are well-written, current, and showcase your skills and specialism. So when users click on your name, they land on an impressive profile.

    • Post articles that speak to your target audience and demonstrate expert knowledge of your niche.

    • If you’re not a confident writer, consider sharing videos or live streams instead.

    • Send connection requests to users who interact with your content.

    • Track trends in your branch of law, adding insightful commentary to posts.

    • Follow the firms and decision-makers you want to work with and engage with their online content.

    • Research other sector influencers and learn from their successes.

    To stay front of mind in today’s legal jobs market, you need to commit to your promotional activity. LinkedIn specialists recommend posting 1-3 short updates each week and 1-2 long-form articles each month, keeping topics timely, varied, and relevant. Craft content that serves your specialist area and create a plan to post consistently.

    Building your personal brand takes time and effort, both on and offline – but the reputational rewards are worth it.