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Why you should build a cohesive legal directory strategy

January 26, 2023

The legal directory submissions windows for Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, and other directories, tend to sneak up on us all. There is a tendency to cross each bridge as it comes and focus on each research cycle in turn, as lawyers focus on billable hours and legal marketing professionals concentrate on in-house projects. In an already time-short field, it is difficult to take a moment to consolidate the time and resources necessary to establish a legal directory strategy. Creating a strategy for future research cycles brings many associated benefits, ones that are not unlocked when approaching one research cycle at a time. Maximise your return on investment in legal directory submissions by strategising for them in the short, medium and long-term. Looking beyond each single research cycle allows you to shape a cumulative, holistic process that builds and enhances your firm’s reputation, talent pipeline and, ultimately, legacy.

Did you know we have a Submissions Calendar to help you keep track of key dates? Use this to help forecast for both short-term and long-term planning.

Short-term strategising within a submissions process

How long does it take to put together a persuasive submission? Strategising in the short-term allows you to understand what can be achieved in a single research cycle – and what can’t. Which Partners to put forward, highlights to include, compiling a referee list, and more. However, planning in the short-term influences future research cycles too. If certain work highlights cannot be included in one submission, they can be worked into a future one. This redeploys both time and resources and streamlines the process for already time-poor Partners. The lessons learned from one effective submission with a coherent strategy, are transposed onto future research cycles. If you are able to efficiently establish this process now and for the coming submissions process, this will set your foundations for your future.

Why build a long-term legal directory strategy?

Short-term decisions influence long-term strategy and vice versa. Both must be simultaneously considered to make the most of your legal directory submissions and the resources invested in them. Not only is this important for your firm’s own processes, but it is also advantageous for certain directories. Chambers has a cumulative approach to legal directory submissions in which previous years’ submissions are considered alongside the current one, so it is integral to produce a sequence of solid submissions. For first-time law firms submitting to directories, long-term strategies are especially critical. It typically takes between three to five years to achieve a ranking.  While it may be tempting to give up submitting when efforts produce no results, it is important to maintain momentum. Consistent, high-quality submissions lead to that first key directory ranking.

Enhancing your reputation and shaping a legacy

Long-term strategies, for both new and more established firms, help you consider how rankings and submissions sit within the future of your firm. They have a long-term impact on a multitude of aspects within your firm. From enhancing your reputation, to attracting top talent, legal directory rankings should be worked into any business development with foresight. A legal directory ranking is not just about the logo at the end of your email signature, or an image for your firm’s website. However, these badges of honour are vital to building a legacy and crafting a solid reputation. While the significance of a single ranking is easily understood, capitalising on it and looking towards potential future rankings consolidates your reputation in the market.

A long-term strategy – and the potential rankings stemming from its success – catalyses a ripple effect. Submitting Junior Partners and Associates is key to nurturing both the next generation (succession planning and employee loyalty) and your reputation (talent acquisition and retention). The submitted Partners will recognise and appreciate the support for their career, and trainee solicitors and law students will be attracted by the demonstrated investment in their career development. Also integral to your reputation is your team and your values: nurture these and you will reap the rewards for years to come.Legal directories have a diverse audience. Potential clients will consult them, and a high ranking in a prominent legal directory will be testament to a firm’s expertise, in turn leading to a greater likelihood of new business. Similarly, students seeking a future, industry-leading firm will look for the highest-ranking firms with which to start their careers. Therefore, building your firm’s future in terms of clientele and talent starts now.

Building cohesive strategies

Devising both short and long-term legal directory strategies is informed through asking for feedback from your target legal directories. Both Chambers and Legal 500 offer this service. Chambers Insight gives detailed reports that include every quote from referees and peers, alongside further feedback. Similarly, the Legal 500’s range of Research+ products analyse rankings, editorial and market position, indicating the effectiveness of a legal directory strategy. Purchasing these reports every two to three years offers further insight and guides future strategy.

How Kidd Aitken helps with legal directory strategies

Similarly, seeking out the advice of a legal directory expert offers even more insight, tailored to your firm. Our experienced team understands the significance of legal directory rankings on your firm, for both now and the future. As the only legal directory consultancy worldwide with former Chambers and Legal 500 editors, researchers and analysts, we know what makes for successful submissions and how to deploy the best strategies to ensuring future ranking success of both your firm and lawyers. From operational benefits, such as streamlined processes and efficient resourcing, to reputational benefits, there is much to gain by implementing short- and long-term strategies.

If you would like to learn how we can help you with your legal directory strategies and submissions, please get in touch with us for a free consultation. We will gladly guide you through the steps, methodologies and processes at play in successful legal directory submissions.

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