This is the second in a series of three blog posts on Law Firms and Data Storytelling.

Restating the central premise of this, the prior, and the next post: People look at statistics (data), but they feel, and respond to, stories. Put another way, people tend to make decisions based upon emotion, not logic.

So, on to the question raised in this — part two, of a three-part post series: Is there a new story that law firms can be telling about themselves that is different than the stories told on most publicly-available portals (like websites)? Specifically, is there a different story that can be told in order to attract clients, distinguish ourselves from competitors, and stimulate the interests of lateral hires and/or desirable law students?

Spoiler alert: The answer is, “yes” and I believe that the design/implementation of a balanced mindfulness and meditation program would be an important step in that process. Both mindfulness and meditation are part of a larger well-being commitment, but the quality those two things really emphasize, is the humanity of a law firm — that’d be new. It’d be exciting. And it could be tremendously effective.

I’m not suggesting that law firms throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater — promoting litigation and negotiation results will always be important. But finding new ways to feature and promote the humanity of individual lawyers is also important, and collecting data that inform those human stories is something we lawyers would do well to work on.

A lot of that kind of data is currently buried in individual bios (if it exists at all), which often require viewers to spend time by clicking through to another page, without any kind of tease or promise of useful information. Maybe firm website managers could add an audio link to those bios in the lawyers’ own voices to talk about something that is personal, not professional?

For years, I had a client — a very successful businessman — who regularly referred to me as, “The Dandelion King”, because of a story published in the Chicago Tribune newspaper that identified me as an avid gardener. The client and I shared a laugh about that for years, pretty much every we talked, even though it had absolutely nothing to do with the serious business matters that we would subsequently discuss. In a fortuitous and unintended way, it provided us with a personal bond that was wholly unrelated to our attorney-client relationship, which lasted my entire professional lifetime. True story!

Personal data points that celebrate the humanity of individual lawyers, would be a new kind of data for our law firms to begin collecting. And telling stories about individual lawyers would be a new way to promote the firm, in a way that would both serve the business of the firm and the business of the individual.

Bottom line: I do believe there is another story we can be telling about our law firms in order to keep current clients, attract new clients, distinguish the firm from competitors, and court desirable lateral and new hires.

Let’s collect and celebrate the kind of new data that will help us tell our story in a creative, business-appropriate, human way!

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