How to Get Ranked on a Daily Journal List

Yesterday, I gave you tips on how to get ranked in Chambers USA based on comments by Laura Mills, editor of Chambers USA. David Houston, editor of the Daily Journal was also a panelist at Wednesday’s Legal Marketing Association program in Los Angeles and he provided similar advice about submissions for his publications’ list. The following are highlights of his comments on how to get the attention of the paper’s editorial staff:

Tell us about the work in real time. If an attorney was involved in a case or deal, inform the staff. Even if the paper does not write about them, they still want a heads up.
Consider scheduling roundtables with the editorial staff, but not during the selection process. This will give the editorial team the chance to put a face with a name and learn about your firm’s practices/deals/cases.

Wondering about extensions? David said file your weakest submissions early. By the 11th hour, the editorial team is fatigued and may not have the energy to identify great candidates. When writing the nominations, give the highlights. There is no need to provide a lot of narrative. They can find that information on your firm’s website. You want to get their attention? David said his staff is reading hundreds of nominations and at some point they all start sounding the same. Make an effort to tell the staff why your candidate stands out.
If the attorney you are nominating has handled a case or deal that is novel, unique or let to a decision that impacted the legal or business industry, explain it clearly and play it up. Reporters wil ultimately have to write articles about the attorneys on the list so it’s wide to explain why your candidate is newsworthy.

What about the coveted Top 100 Lawyers in California? David said people are chosen for this list based on their work. If you attorney has a recognizable name in the industry and was involved in high-profile cases or deals, chances are that attorney will be ranked with or without submitting a formal nomination. But, feel free to send an email to remind the editorial staff of that attorney, listing some of those highlights, or put in a call into David to remind him.

The editorial staff plays a great role in nominating attorneys in their beats so you can contact them as well. Beyond the big players, consider nominating the up- and-coming attorneys and people whose work is done outside of California since the publication is not focused on matters outside of the state. And, there is no maximum number of attorneys a firm can nominate for the top 100.

How to get ignored or dumped from the list? It’s the same thing Laura Mills said about Chamber’s; Lying. David and his staff are always skeptical (it’s the nature of reporters) so they will question the facts in the nomination, such as whether someone is lead counsel. In one case, David got a call from an attorney on the East Coast stating that his partner took credit for all of his work. Clearly state whether your candidate was lead or co-counsel.

It seems like the Daily Journal is offering new lists each year and 2014 will be no exception. Watch out for an entertainment supplement in 2014.

And, for those attorneys who like to rub shoulders with other top lawyers in their field? The DJ will offer more networking opportunities. There will be two Top 40 parties, one in Southern California and the other in Northern California.