- Posted by Poston Communications
- On July 19, 2019
- Chambers, Chambers and Partners, Chambers law firm rankings, Chambers submissions, Chambers USA, client references, legal marketing
If your summertime looks less like sunshine and sand and more like representative matters and references, then chances are you are a legal marketer in the throes of your firm’s Chambers season. With deadlines at the turn of every new month, we want to focus on an often-overlooked but critical element of your submissions: the referees.
Know the Landscape
Chambers ranks a firm’s references – “referees” in Chamber’s parlance – this way:
- Super clients – Companies that are listed on many submissions by multiple firms. Researchers call these references first because they are in the best position to compare firms. Everything being equal, these clients will carry the most weight because of their broad knowledge of the legal marketplace. (And truth be told, Chambers researchers can quickly survey several firms with one phone call. They’re busy people, too!)
- Second tier – Clients listed on about a dozen submissions.
- Third tier – Clients listed on fewer than a dozen submissions.
Knowing this, you’re smart to put your eggs in the first two baskets. These individuals are in the best position to provide thorough perspective, and chances are they’re familiar with the Chambers process. They’re more likely to return the researcher’s phone call, know how to position your firm well among its list of preferred firms and adeptly discuss the matters on which you worked.
With that said, if you are a one-state firm handling bet-the-company litigation for local companies, your references are likely going to be from the third bucket. They’ll sing your praises, but it may be worthwhile to spend more time preparing them for the researcher’s call.
Selecting the Right References
Because of the weight that client references carry, calculate a strategy around selecting them. Some clients are going to be more articulate and persuasive in their feedback, and it matters.
Identify references based on who you feel will take the time to do the interview and provide meaningful feedback. Sometimes the general counsel or chief legal officer may not be the best choice if he or she does not have time to participate. Chambers will not give you points for references who have impressive titles but don’t return the researchers’ calls. A deputy member of the legal team may have been more involved in the day-to-day operations of the cases you are highlighting and therefore in a better position to describe how your firm’s attorneys prevailed.
One of the biggest mistakes that we see firms make is not lining up their client refences with the matters described in the submissions process. References should not only be touting your success generally but should be specifically addressing the details of the matters you have outlined for Chambers.
In a future post, we will talk more about adequately preparing your references to receive a call from Chambers researchers.
Our Poston Content team has compiled a list of best practices on surviving your Chambers season, and we welcome the opportunity to answer any of your questions about the process. We have helped firms of all sizes navigate Chambers submissions – including initial interviews, collection of matters and counseling on selecting the right references, and we would be pleased to talk about how we can make the season more enjoyable – and help get you back outside for summertime!