A Law Firm Rankings Directory Primer

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Many small law firms choose to ignore law firm rankings directories because they see these as strictly BigLaw marketing tactics. If your law firm wants to attract bigger (and often higher paying) clients, however, it might be worth your time to submit some of your accomplishments to one of these directories.

While engaging in social media, starting a blog, and sending press releases can help your law firm create a regular presence toward prospective clients, a spot among the rankings can help you show potential clients that your firm can play with the big dogs even if you offer better rates and work with less overhead.

Unfortunately, creating submissions for legal directories can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of ranking well.

  1. Pay attention to time. Each directory runs on a different schedule, and some directories have tight deadlines that vary by state, firm size, and practice area. According to International In-House Counsel, most companies rely on Chambers & Partners for rankings, and you can find their schedule by clicking here. (You may have already missed their June deadline, but you have until July 2 to get in on their next round.)
  2. Keep it simple and to the point. As much as you don’t want to write a long submission, nobody wants to read a long submission. Instead, give the researchers succinct information that will help them quickly understand your market and projects.
  3. Be careful which clients you choose to represent your business. Some directories will contact individuals within a client’s business to find out more about your firm’s work. Instead of providing directory researches with the most senior person, pick the person who has the best understanding of the work you performed. Also, make sure you tell your clients they will be contacted by the directory and that it is important they reply. It might even be a good idea to prepare the client with a quick email reminding them of the exact work you performed and how you excelled in those tasks.
  4. Build good relationships with the researchers working on your submissions. Ask questions, and be sure to promptly respond to theirs. Maintain contact and make sure researchers are getting responses from your clients. Help researchers help you by making their job easier.
  5. Make the most of your submission. If you obtain a spot in directory rankings, that’s great! Be sure to play up your listing to its full potential by making an announcement in your newsletter, sharing links to editorials, and updating your professional profiles with any rankings, awards or other recognition.  If you didn’t get a spot in the directory, don’t let your efforts go to waste.  You just spent a lot of time researching your past cases, collecting information, and contacting clients for testimonials.  Even if you don’t get ranked, you will have a wealth of information that can be repurposed and used throughout your entire marketing strategy—in newsletters, on your website, in press releases, and more.

For specific submission guidelines for the top five directories, click here: Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Martindale-Hubbell, Practical Law Company, and Who’s Who Legal.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2136954043/)

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