LegalMatch Legal Chamber Newsletter
  February is here, and with it, winter has come armed with snow, storms, and sleet. At our LegalMatch SF office, we're bundled up and basking in the artificial heat of our building's HVAC output, and we hope that all of you out there are keeping warm as well. In fact, this newsletter is ready to provide you with some fireside reading material.

In this Winter 2008 edition of The Legal Chamber, we'll be continuing our previous article series on getting the most out of your LegalMatch profile with "Part II: Writing the Anti-Resume." We also have some internal news about company moves in Austin and San Francisco and some insight for those who are still writing checks to the yellow pages. This edition cleans up with a new-year-appropriate look at the future-your future as potential contributors to our LegalMatch blog series.
In This Issue:
Making It Personal, Part II: Writing the Anti-Resume
LegalMatch Moves!
Forget the Yellow Pages
Call to Action: Writers & Bloggers

Trivia Question: What seminal work by Fyodor Dostoevsky are you most likely to find on a lawyer's bookshelf?
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  Making It Personal, Part II:
Writing the Anti-Resume

  1040 FormMaking yourself accessible to clients means more than just firing off a bulleted list of your qualifications.

An impressive resume can certainly make you stand out in your field, but clients who are unversed in the technicalities of your job are more likely to appreciate a humanized introduction to your history. Anecdotes and examples go a long way in illustrating your worth to prospective clients. Do you remember writing your personal essays for admission to law school? Those essays were a chance to present a more intimate glimpse into your accomplishments-to break away from the sequential rigor of grades, awards, and titles. Your LegalMatch profile is a similar opportunity-a window looking onto your brightest moments in their fullest detail. .

Let's consider an example.

A family lawyer from New Mexico wants to demonstrate his or her qualifications to a divorce-seeking wife. The wife and her husband have three children, and the couple naturally wants to make the proceedings as easy on them as possible. Unfortunately, both spouses are equally determined to possess the family home, and this has created a major point of contention in the divorce.

At this point, many lawyers will choose to highlight their expertise with a smattering of numbers: "10 years experience in family law. 5 years practicing in New Mexico. Over 1000 divorce cases won!" But while these numbers may add up to success in your mind, your client is given nothing but a series of digits to work from-and those little numbers are probably just one sample in a spread of several lawyers that she's spoken to.

Consider a lawyer who instead writes about his experience with a similar situation. He or she remembers that (1) the case took place several years ago, (2) the couple in question had children, (3) there was a major property in dispute that had brought proceedings to a halt, (4) he/she was able to negotiate a compromise between the two, additionally arranging a peaceful custody arrangement, (5) the agreeable divorce allowed the couple to remain on good terms.

Nobody wants to read a resume that is poorly-disguised as a narrative.

Touching on these points, that lawyer can now construct a brief, honest insight into his or her work-with the benefit of showcasing a very human, relatable story. Now, when your potential client is comparing you to other legal professionals, she will remember first and foremost your success and understanding when dealing with a family law case. Knowing that, she can then either make a decision based on her comfort level with you (which is certain to exceed that of the lawyers who merely noted their "10 years experience") or make that story a point of reference by which to remember you and then return for more formal, numerical information. Either way, you've made a lasting and positive impression. Worried about not having your resume data upfront? Consider summarizing it as it should be-in a series of bullet points above the main body of your profile. If you're confident enough in your writing, you can also choose to include that information in the body of your profile text, but take care to make it an organic addition. Nobody wants to read a resume that is poorly-disguised as a narrative. For further tips and tricks for getting the most from your LegalMatch profile, check our next newsletter for a tutorial on building successful LegalMatch mail templates. Part Two: Writing the anti-resume.
Part Three: Make templates, not form letters.

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  LegalMatch Moves
  For those who don't have our LegalMatch Life blog on their RSS feed, we'd like to announce that LegalMatch's San Francisco office has moved. We are now located within a stone's throw of the Montgomery BART station near 2nd and Market. If you're in the area and looking to stop in, you can find us on the 11th floor of #49 Stevenson.

Our Austin office has also adopted a new building as their base of operations, moving keyboards and cubicles to 5914 West Courtyard.

Photos of the new buildings are available on our blog, with more to come soon.


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  Forget the Yellow Pages
  When was the last time you actually thumbed through the Yellow Pages?

With so many people equipped with PDAs, portable internet, Bluetooth, and in-car navigation systems, the Yellow Pages have become somewhat of an artifact in this modern age. And although they're dutifully dumped on stoop of a thousand different apartment buildings, they're just as regularly ignored by the tenants who find them stacked under their mailboxes. Really, who can blame them?

The internet is packed to the gills with very effective sites that index everything from restaurants (complete with menus!), to doctors, to beauty salons, to-why yes, even lawyers. Sites like can even offer entire city guides in a neat, searchable, playful little package, with written reviews for everything from local Laundromats to seasonal illnesses.

So why are so many attorneys still pouring their purse into the Yellow Pages?

As expensive as most lackluster online Yellow Page listings are, you're better off investing in a webpage or site for your practice. Not only will you be providing more focused, relevant information for potential clients, but you will have complete and total control over what they see. If you have a frequently updated blog-or even one you contribute to-it can be even better. But being listed with LegalMatch is a great start to making your name visible to the clients you need.

Make 2008 the year that you break up with the Yellow Pages and turn that money into something new, whether it's a webpage, a marketing consultant, or a monthly mail-out to former customers. Just think-a year where you're not picking through random clients you know nothing about, a year where you aren't arguing over rates with the lowest bidder, and a year free of wasted capital, time, and energy.

As a modern attorney, the only yellow pages you need are the ones in your Steno pad. So make a note in it to reassess your relationship with Capital-Y Yellow Pages, and start thinking about how you can draw clients-modern clients-to your practice's front door.

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  Call to Action: Writers & Bloggers
  LegalMatch is currently on the look-out for smart, passionate writers to contribute to our line of legal blogs. Whether you already have a blog of your own or are simply interested in getting your voice heard on the web, we are happy to publish any relevant material that you can provide. You will always be fully credited for any work you submit, and we are happy to drive traffic back to you with a link to your personal site, profile, or blog.

If you already have a completed piece on hand and you would like to see it published on the web, please copy-paste its full text into the body of an email (no attachments please!) and send it to: We are open to everything from opinion pieces to current event analysis to personal experiences with legal issues. If it's creative and relevant, we want to see it.

Our blogs currently cover a score of legal disciplines, including business, criminal, employment, family,immigration,intellectual property,personal injury, and creal estate law. If you can, please indicate which blog you wish to contribute to when submitting your work.

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  Answer to Trivia:
Crime and Punishment.