• Louise Gilbert

Why legal directories are important and how to stand the best chance of being ranked


In this blog we will talk about why legal directory rankings are important and what legal directories looking for in your submission.


Why are they important?


Whilst there are mixed feelings amongst the legal fraternity about the value of legal directory rankings and the amount of time and resource that inevitably goes into putting together the submissions, it goes without saying that third party endorsements provide peace of mind and important profile information to prospective clients looking to engage your services. In the current climate, with the usual face-to-face networking not happening, so much more emphasis is being placed on digital profiling and reputation.


Achieving a ranking in a legal directory instills a level of confidence in your law firm’s specialist skills and capabilities and offers reassurances to clients that they are being advised by a law firm that has been judged independently to be among the leaders in its field. It gives your audience a valuable snapshot of your business and helps you to attract top talent in terms of recruitment.


All the great content you put together for your submissions can of course be repurposed for pitch materials, credentials, awards submissions, etc. and used as a valuable source of content for your social channels. In short you can get great leverage and mileage out of the time and expense it takes to produce your submission.


What are legal directories expecting to see from you?


To make this information easier to digest, let us divide it into 3 key areas:

  • Strategy/research

  • Submission

  • Referees


Strategy and Research


Before you embark on the process of submitting to the legal directories, decide on your strategy and what you are looking to realistically achieve. For example, are you looking to maintain or improve an existing ranking, or do you want to showcase a new department or individual?

If you have limited resources, prioritise them on the practice area/individuals that fit your firm’s strategy.

Doing your research is also key – what are other firms being recognised for and what can you learn from this to inform your own submission? Which is the best practice area/region to submit in to give you the best chance of success? This research will also help you to give meaningful feedback about other firms operating in your area.


Submission


The editorial submission is your chance to showcase the breadth/sophistication of the work you are involved with and the value you add to your clients.

Some top tips for your submission:

  • Use the template provided by Legal 500/ Chambers and do not alter it

  • Provide all information requested and do not exceed one page per work highlight.

  • Keep the submission as concise as possible – do not reiterate facts that can be found on your website. Be succinct about what is special about your work and your team.

  • Meet their deadline – if this proves impossible, make sure you submit the details of your referees by the set deadline. This part of the process will not shift whilst there is sometimes a little wiggle room with the editorial deadline.

  • Ensure the work highlights you chose accurately reflects the scope of services you offer (e.g., complexity, international or cross border) and showcase the expertise of any individuals you would like to be individually ranked.

  • Give details of ranked and unranked lawyers and highlight those who should be recognised – be realistic and do not include absolutely everybody.

Referees


Your submissions will help direct the researchers to produce an accurate reflection of the marketplace, but it is not their only source of information. The additional research and qualitative feedback from referees and industry contacts are arguably more important in the process.


Some top tips for referees:

  • Chambers ask for 20 referees and for Legal 500 you can have an unlimited amount. Ensure you submit accurate contact details for all you submit as they will be contacted by email

  • Select referees who know the team and the market and importantly, those who are likely to take the time to respond

  • Ensure you include referees specifically aligned to any individual lawyer you are putting forward for a ranking

  • Submit a range of referees – e.g., include referrers and other lawyers, as well as clients and remember they do not have to always be the most senior person in the team (you will probably find that CEOs are less likely to respond)

  • Seek your referees’ permission first and advise them of the timelines and process


Consortium More than Marketing and Clare Fanner provide a legal directory submission service here.


Together our legal directories team has expertise in marketing and business development in the legal sector along with a strong track record in successful listings will ensure that your law firm’s submission is polished, concise, and honed.


Whether you have the resources in house and just lack the know-how, or would like to outsource the full submission process, our different packages ensure we can add value where you need us to.