We’re Here to Help: Four Keys to Improving Your Chambers Submissions
- Posted by Poston Communications
- On September 9, 2021
- Chambers and Partners, Chambers law firm rankings, Chambers submissions
By Monica Smith and Ed Bean
For many lawyers and legal marketers, end of summer means catching the last trip to the beach, back-to-school shopping – and Chambers submissions. With deadlines in full swing for the 2022 research period, it’s crunch time for compiling the top matters and requesting client references.
Our Poston Content team prepares these submissions for law firms through our turn-key process, and we’re also often asked to review drafts already prepared by attorneys and their marketing teams. Here are some of our recommendations:
Maximize your practice description. Chambers asks, “What is this department best known for?” and too often we see law firms copy and paste content from a website description or marketing collateral. 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. The 500 words in this section define your practice, and don’t waste it repeating language that sounds like every other firm’s practice description.
This section is also the place to offer feedback on your current (or lack of) ranking. Align the discussion of what you do best with where you deserve to be ranked. Focus on your work with and across from other respected and ranked firms because you want to show you belong in their company in the rankings.
Finally, don’t use the same narrative year after year. If you are recycling your story, it tells Chambers that you are just filling in the blanks and not putting sufficient thought into the submission.
Focus on your client’s perspective. Chambers editors tell us that they are in tune with what’s keeping clients up at night – and researchers approach each ranking with those concerns in mind. For a year like 2021, that includes adaptability in an uncertain world, legal work stemming from COVID-19 regulations, counsel on issues that emerged when companies moved to distributed work models, concern for social justice, a commitment to diversity and attention to alternative pricing structures – a shift for the publication that once said it didn’t want law firms to talk about value.
While we don’t recommend fluffy marketing language, you shouldn’t be shy about underscoring the significance that your role meant to a client’s business. Many times, attorneys provide a limited description of the importance of a matter. Use this space to highlight why the work mattered to your client. Were you able to avoid the shutdown of a major business operation because of your quick actions? Did building a legal project management tool eliminate litigation costs? How did the diverse team of talented legal professionals that you assembled bring a unique perspective and results to the matter?
Don’t be shy about mentioning other firms. First, in work highlights, we see firms fail to list other lawyers and firms that advised on the matter. The question takes on more importance if the other firms are ranked or otherwise prominent or respected. Don’t pass up this chance to name drop that you play on the same field as those firms.
Remember in school optional “bonus” questions on tests? The “optional” section “Feedback on Chambers’ Coverage of Other Firms” is just that. If you belong in the rankings, you should know the top firms and lawyers in your practice and market. Show that you know who is the best, discuss who may be ranked above their competence (politely, of course) and don’t be afraid to draw a few comparisons to your own practice.
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 return calls to the Chambers researchers. In fact, it’s better to list a lower-titled person who will speak to the researchers than a C-suite executive who is unlikely to respond.
Interested in having our team of seasoned Chambers writers review your firm’s submission? Contact us today for more information.