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Building a business case for your legal directory submissions

January 26, 2023

How do you increase Partner buy-in for your legal directory submissions? What’s the best way to say ‘thank you’ to referees? Why does the importance of references fly under the radar? How do you build a business case for your legal directory submissions? Find out the answer to all these questions and more in this conversation between Kidd Aitken’s Managing Associate Kate Ledigo and Brittany Lewis, Marketing Manager at Bell Nunnally. They discuss all things legal directories. Including…

Bell Nunnally’s legal directory journey

Brittany delves into Bell Nunnally’s legal directory journey, building on that crucial first Chambers ranking year-on-year. But it was not a simple process. Achieving Partner buy-in, allocation of resources and the necessary expertise to secure a successful ranking all take time. Working with an external legal directory consultancy supports this process, from writing work highlights to contacting referees. And even sending them cookies!

‘The insight brought to the table [by an external consultant] has been another piece of the puzzle that’s invaluable.’

How to increase Partner buy-in

For many firms at the beginning of their legal directory journey, Partner buy-in can be a pain point. They see a significant amount of work being allocated to submissions but not the results. How can marketing departments tackle this? The key, Brittany found, was that all-important first ranking. The benefits of a legal directory ranking in a prestigious directory such as Chambers or The Legal 500 are myriad. Seeing the reputational advantages of such a ranking increased engagement in Partners. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The importance of the referee process

The referee process is one of the most undervalued aspects of a legal directory submission, yet it is vital to a ranking in any prestigious directory. Reminding referees of their interview and maintaining contact with the researcher is an important, albeit time-consuming, task. Because even if a firm’s work highlights are outstanding, they must be supported by real-life testimonials from those who have worked closely with their Partners. Read more about the importance of the client referee process: ‘On the home stretch: Completing the client referee process’.

The effects of legal directory rankings

A legal directory ranking is more than a badge included in an email signature. It enhances reputations and acts as a powerful pull for prospective talent. There are benefits from both a marketing and recruiting perspective. For marketing teams, directory rankings are a cause for celebration. Brittany shares how her team gets excited about rankings through internal newsletters and more. From a recruiting perspective, rankings help firms to stand out to prospective talent. Especially in the current ‘war for talent’, demonstrating a commitment to career development helps to reassure potential employees that their own ambitions will be supported. And not, as Kate and Brittany discuss, simply ‘sitting on an associate so no one knows how good they are’.

‘It’s often a frustrating and time-consuming process, but there are so many benefits within the process and for the ranking itself that makes it worthwhile.’

About the hosts

Kate Ledigo is a Managing Associate at Kidd Aitken. Her experience across the legal industry is wide and varied: with specialist cross-border disputes firm Omnia Strategy, Mishcon de Reya’s Business Development team and now with Kidd Aitken. Brittany Lewis is Marketing Manager at Bell Nunnally and has been Chair – among many other positions – of the Dallas Local Steering Committee of the Legal Marketing Association. She has many years of experience in business development, communications and marketing.

If you would like to know more about how Kidd Aitken can help further progression on your legal marketing journey, get in touch with us today. Our global team of consultants offers support with legal directory submissions and much more.

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