Frequent and consistent legal directory submissions are the best way to elevate your law firm’s position in the market and to consolidate your reputation and attractiveness for new clients.The purpose of a Chambers and Partners or a Legal 500 submission is to highlight your practice’s yearly achievements, as well as your Partners’ milestones. If you have previously submitted to a legal directory, you will be familiar with the key components for a successful submission- outstanding lawyer bios, illustrative work highlights, compelling narrative pitches, and a responsive list of client and peer referees.The selection of top-notch work and references can be a strenuous effort, if done in-house, and we believe that applicants to legal directories often overlook other aspects that can elevate their submissions. In this blog post, we discuss the importance of your law firm’s culture of innovation and the benefits of featuring your practice’s legal tech tools in legal directory submissions.
In the past year, using legal technology has become the new norm in the provision of legal services. A 2022 report by Gartner suggests that venture capital inflows into legal technology have peaked at US$ 1 billion for the first time. Global law firms are competing on innovation, especially post-pandemic. The use of legal tech and the deployment of technology tools have become competitive differentiators. Technology is a key driver of improved performance, productivity and efficiency, which is of great interest to clients.Legal directories do not directly require you to detail your firm’s technological advancements, but there are advantages in doing so. For instance, in The Legal 500 submission form, law firms can expand on innovations that they’ve introduced to benefit clients in a dedicated section of the form. Alongside people, billing, diversity, and collaboration, here we have a great opportunity to expand on how using legal technology sets you apart from peer firms.The Chambers and Partners submission form doesn’t allocate a section for innovation, however we believe there are great benefits if this is expanded on in the narrative/pitch section and in the work highlights descriptions, where applicable. A Chambers researcher will typically look at the sophistication and relevance of work, at the commercial/industry awareness and client service, and at the firm’s bench strength and the seniority or prominence of individuals. Showcasing your firm’s tech adoption can help the researcher fill in some gaps in their understanding of your practice.
The highest ranked law firms typically undertake highly complex work for notable clients. The contentious or non-contentious deals involve high values, are large and cross-border. In large scale M&A, IPOs or SPAC deals, legal project management tools could include virtual data rooms and streamlined vendor due diligence reports, which facilitate smooth bidder coordination and completion of sale. Additionally, smart contracts executed on blockchain or executed through various document automation tools can speed up negotiations with opposing counsel, which improves efficiency and transactional timelines.
For litigation practices, using eDiscovery tools can help lawyers discover valuable information regarding a matter while reducing costs, speeding up resolutions, and mitigating risks. Moreover, legal practices can manage information via cloud computing, which reduces the costs of IT infrastructure such as servers, hardware or data storage. A migration to the cloud offers benefits to teams, as lawyers can supervise and manage their legal proceedings online, using any tech device, regardless of their location.
Law firms employ a variety of legal practice management software tools which automate time-consuming tasks, thereby allowing practitioners to allocate their valuable time to client service. Cloud-based legal practice management solutions can help the business of a law firm to track important deadlines, manage client cases, bill clients, and to create secure payment platforms. Some tools allow lawyers to display their billable hour targets and others tools have innovative billing features which allow users to manage fee structures, to bill via email and to create custom bill plans. Hence, investing in practice management software illustrates an internally enhanced allocation of resources, which offers clients transparency and more time with their counsel.
If your practice doesn’t include some of the aforementioned technological advances, or is at its incipient phases of tech deployment, there are still opportunities to showcase what makes you innovative. For instance, investing in your firm’s cybersecurity or data privacy is a good point of discussion in a legal directory submission, alongside remote work technology or collaborative technology. Most importantly, it is crucial to show an openness towards constantly innovating, either by investing in the tech training of your team members or by aiming to recruit more tech-savvy talent.If you wish to get in touch to discuss your next strategy for legal directory submissions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.