Legal directory rankings – are you in or are you out?

With the recent publication of the Legal 500 rankings, the process of thinking about the next round of submissions starts again… and it usually causes a collective groan across partnerships throughout the UK.

Firms are usually torn between investing a huge amount of time and effort in ensuring they maintain their rankings in key areas, to throwing in the towel and saying no completely!

The legal directory submission process can be daunting, and firms often wonder if they are doing the right thing by diverting their resources to it.

Here are a few pointers that are worth bearing in mind:

Decide on your priorities

Some initial research will really help you to decide which areas of your firm, strategically, you need to maintain, grow, or launch your expertise in. Focussing on a few key areas will help you avoid spreading your resources too thin. You may also want to focus on profiling some key individuals – recently promoted partners or new heads of department.

Start early

Ideally, you will get to a point where the submissions process is painless as you can build your content throughout the year. Getting your teams into the mindset to capture useful data and to process this when cases or deals as they close – will help ease the burden.

But don’t worry if that’s not in place yet – just start as soon as you can to allow enough time to meet the deadlines.

Cut the jargon

There’s no need to go into sales overdrive when putting your submission together. The templates are all set so you don’t need to get fancy in terms of presentation, just lay out the facts in a simple, jargon-free way, and make sure the cases you’ve chosen to highlight demonstrate your capability in the different specialisms.

Decide who has the final say

Typically, your submissions will need input from different partners and fee earners, and the process of tweaking/revising/editing your document can be the thing that takes the most time and could jeopardise submitting your entry by the deadline.

Decide who will has final sign-off of the submission and build time in for revisions but have a cut off and don’t allow endless amendments.

References, references, references

Sometimes there’s so much focus on the document that the references get overlooked. You can have unlimited referees for Legal 500 and a maximum of 20 for Chambers. Make sure you communicate with those you are putting down as referees – don’t just contact them a week before the deadline. Get into the habit of asking as you finish working on a case with them and then keep in contact and let them know the process. Also, check with your clients about confidentiality and make sure you have the right permissions to talk about your involvement with them.

Leverage the content

There are loads of ways you can use the content you put together for the directories so make sure you leverage it effectively. Use it to update your website/profiles/case studies/pitch libraries and testimonials. Then once the rankings are out, make sure you make full use of your profile across your communication channels.

If the process seems just too daunting for you then we offer various packages to help support you, from some initial training to get you started right through to taking on the submission for you. Find out more here or contact us.