Directories, Rankings, and Accolades: What you need to know

Directories, Rankings and Awards are the cause of massive headaches for the marketer and PR processionals who are responsible for developing them, yet rankings and awards are not going anywhere. In fact, they are multiplying like rabbits in springtime.

Knowing how important our role is in this process, the Los Angeles chapter of the Legal Marketing Association held a program on the topic moderated by Laura Shovlowsky, marketing and business development manager at Proskauer Rose. The panelists provided some insight into what we need to know to be efficient and more importantly successful, and hopefully make the process less painful. Even if you are not submitting to Chambers or the Daily Journal, a California- based legal publication, some of this information is still relevant for other business and legal awards and rankings.

So, what do you need to know to successfully submit to Chambers? Here are the highlights from Chambers’ Editor Laura Mills:

Best practices:

Use the submission template. People often try to create their own but the Chambers submission tells you exactly the information you need.
Do not put an attorney bio on the submission. It’s what Laura called
the ‘wall of texts’. Her researcher can find that information online. Quality over quantity

Make sure to target the work that stands out and show what is unique about the work
Make clear what is confidential
Submit 15 references only and max out list

Overloading information is misguided because researchers get fatigued Do not be a jerk (especially attorneys) on the phone, even though it will not affect your ranking
Do not lie to the researchers

If you put a ‘dud’ on the phone with a researcher, the chances of that attorney being interviewed the following year is slim to none.
A big submission is considered 20 pages. Avoid sending more as her team gets fatigued.
Be aware that submitting needs to be on time this year, as Chambers is scaling back on its interviews of firm partners.

You do not need to repeat contacts and clients, as the researchers will not call them more than once.
No need to submit references early. That will not help with your rankings. Research begins one month after reference information is submitted. For example if a deadline is July 1, your firm clients will be contacted about a month later.

All information needs to be uploaded to the website. If you send it to a researcher that does not mean it was officially submitted.

According to Laura, her researchers will look at state level submissions for nation-wide rankings. And, if the state and national nominations were not enough, Laura said there are two new lists this year:

Managing Partner Interviews. Chambers will choose firms that it has on its radar and/or firms that have been ranked in the past.
Chambers 100, a ranking of the top 100 attorneys in the USA.

So when your attorneys ask you about how to get ranked? Here is the
response: Either you had a great year and everyone is talking about you or, you may have had several years of good work and Chambers will look at who has been talked about by others and may accommodate for people who consistently get nice comments.

How to fall off the list? Lying. And, if and attorney has had multiple years of no feedback or negative feedback, do not expect to be on this ye