With Chambers’ first deadline for its 2023 guide approaching on July 14, attorneys and legal marketers are knee-deep in matter writeups and identifying referees. Before you upload your final document to Chambers’ website, here are some updates to the process, last-minute tips and pitfalls to avoid to make the most of your submission.
Don’t Leave Extra Credit on the Table
There are two parts of the submission that we often see law firms shortchange.
Chambers asks, “What is this department best known for?” and often this response becomes a copy / paste job with content from the law firm’s website or marketing collateral. Instead, use this space to explain to Chambers what differentiates your practice from the competition, not to offer up a bottomless menu of everything your practice has ever done for clients. This means cutting to the heart of what distinguishes you from competitors. This is also the place to offer feedback on your current (or lack of) ranking, so align the discussion of what you do best with why you deserve to be ranked.
Secondly, the “Feedback on Chambers’ Coverage of Other Firms” section is your opportunity to demonstrate leadership in your market and practice. Show that you know who the players are, mention how you work with them or opposite them, and draw comparisons to your own practice. We often hear attorneys say they don’t want to mention any other firms in the submission, but don’t miss the opportunity to provide feedback on other leading lawyers and firms within the context of explaining the comparative scope of your work and resources.
Know What’s Different in 2023
You may have noticed during the previous research period, Chambers moved from reaching out to referees by phone to inviting them to complete an online survey. Like many businesses these days, Chambers found itself with increased demand on its lean team. The outreach to referees by email is here to stay. Referees will receive electronic communication from the Chambers researcher assigned to the research area asking them to respond to a handful of questions by email. However, referees who still wish to speak with the researcher by phone can elect to do so by requesting a call.
Also new in 2023, you don’t have to trim your referee list to just 20 contacts; firms are allotted up to 30 names who will be contacted by Chambers. And choose your referees wisely. Selecting the right references is critical to Chambers’ submissions process. Referees should be clients with whom you have worked over the past year and who you are absolutely confident will respond to Chambers researchers.
Familiarize Yourself with the Editorial Team
The editorial team at Chambers is always growing, and it’s helpful to hear directly from the folks who will be reviewing your submissions. Thankfully, the team is accessible, approachable and responsive, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them with questions.
On June 16, the team produced this webinar, available on-demand, which serves as a great primer to the submission process or a refresher for even the most seasoned Chambers participants.
How We Can Help
Our Poston Content team offers two approaches to help law firms tackle Chambers submissions. Our full-service offering to provide “soup to nuts” services for Chambers submissions – from a practice kick-off meeting to interviews with leaders to write the submission to counseling clients on selecting the right referees. This approach requires a minimum six-week lead in advance of a Chambers deadline.
Alternatively, our Poston Formbook suite of services includes a Chambers Package that provides in-house teams with all of the forms, templates and best practices to produce quality submissions internally. Whether you are familiar with the Chambers process or are considering participating for the first time, the comprehensive suite of forms, templates and checklists within Poston Formbook can help you map out the Chambers submission process, effectively communicate internally and externally about the timelines and manage your firm’s relationship with Chambers referees and key contacts.
Contact us today for more information on how we can support your firm in the Chambers 2023 process.