- Posted by Poston Communications
- On September 4, 2019
- Chambers and Partners, Chambers law firm rankings, Chambers submissions, Chambers USA, media interview, media training
After months of preparing Chambers submissions, culling through matters to decipher the most important details to convey, and selecting and coaching your references, the time has come for law practice group leaders to meet with Chambers researchers for the interview. Finish the Chambers process strong through preparation and practice with these four keys:
- Think of It as a Media Interview
One of the common challenges we see with successful, smart attorneys is the tendency to think, “Gosh, all I have to do is get on the phone and talk about my practice. How hard can it be?”
Prepare as if you were going to be talking with a reporter about a big case. Consider client confidentiality issues. Prepare your message points. Be ready to educate the researcher about the legal issues involved in the case. Chambers’ researchers are bright and accomplished journalists, but you are the lawyer who can offer context about why a matter demonstrates your legal prowess.
It may feel awkward but rehearse the interview with your legal marketing professional. He or she will offer tips to keep the conversation on track and help you maintain a productive focus in the Chambers interview.
- Know What to Expect
The interview will last about 30 minutes and will focus on:
- Case successes highlighted in the Chambers submission. Have it in front of you
- Trends in the wider market – locally and nationally – within your practice.
- Feedback on other firms and lawyers in this market and practice area. Review the previous year’s list and be ready to comment on firms you know and respect. Point out instances where you served as co-counsel or opposing counsel to those ranked firms and lawyers.
- Realistic assessments of your practice’s ecosystem. Don’t be negative about other firms, but you can let the researcher know that a competitor has lost a key partner who was the face of the practice, lost significant clients or is targeting different kinds of work. The key is to offer objective observations.
- Members of the bar with whom you are familiar – both those currently ranked and not. This is a great opportunity to highlight referral sources who you trust and respect.
- Consult Your Team
Considering that researchers are often tasked with multiple markets and practices – and most often are not based in the United States – take a few minutes up front to offer an explanation of intricacies about the market and practice area of discussion.
Solicit feedback from your practice group about what sets your firm apart from the competition. Make sure you understand the details of any matters included in the submission of which you were not involved. Be ready to make the case for lawyers on the team who may deserve to be ranked for the first time.
- Exude Positivity
An important note about the format of the interview and feedback that we have received from former Chambers researchers underscores this key advice: Firms that proactively pat other firms on the back – even opposing counsel – are looked upon more favorably than firms that focus solely on their accomplishments and limit feedback on other law firms and attorneys. We encourage you to be forthcoming with positive feedback and anecdotes regarding your work with other firms in the market.
Questions about navigating interviews effectively? Poston Communications’ media training team would be happy to help.