For the first in our three-part blog series on US legal directory submissions, we look at why they matter and what do UK publishers know about ranking the best lawyers and firms in the world?
Directory submissions… it’s an annual question… do they really matter? Do clients really care? And why do you need to start thinking about them again?
We probably don’t need to tell you that the Chambers USA Guide is the Lonely Planet guide to the legal world. But what does UK-based publisher Chambers & Partners know about identifying the best lawyers and law firms in the US, and now the globe? In short… everything. Their editors have been ranking the very best of the legal profession since 1990 and those in the USA since 2002. And did you know that, from their London base, they rank the best of the best in more than 185 jurisdictions?
When you’ve spent that long rigorously analyzing and measuring skills and expertise across the globe, it’s easy to understand why they are considered the experts in what’s going on in the sector.
An essential part of the legal sector’s yearly calendar, directory submissions like Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 are used by clients but particularly by referrers and press, looking for a particular service or expert. Like it or not, rankings are important and provide valuable collateral for marketing, tenders and bids and even PR. They’re global and, particularly if you’re a US firm, provide a valuable insight into your key personnel and approach to work, across the globe.
How do you get it right?
If you’re hoping to sit down with a few tick boxes, you’re going to have to go back and make a bigger pot of coffee. As most will know, the submission process is long and laborious, and must be done scrupulously to ensure any kind of ranking, let alone a top one.
The competition is high for the Chambers USA Guide and the editors won’t believe everything you put in your submission, straight away.
If you have particular people in your firm or a practice area that you’re keen to get listed, then the hard work starts way before you write your submission. These areas and people need to feature in your marketing strategy and work needs to start early in the year on making sure profiles are widely shared and supported by quality thought-leadership and external communications. The biggest area people fall down, in our experience, is in making claims that aren’t backed up when the editors test them in the wider marketplace.
In our second blog article, we’ll be giving you some top tips for putting together submissions. Or if you’d like all the information, tips and advice in one place right now, you can download our free white paper: Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 – Professional tips for getting the most from your directory submissions. This is our most comprehensive free guide, packed with advice, checklists and tips for getting your submissions right