Now that Chambers & Partners has released its research schedule, it’s time to get down to business, particularly for all those submissions with a looming June 1 deadline.
Chambers hasn’t yet required that firms use their template, but it seems that they would like us to, so this year I will forgo my carefully designed firm-branded templates and use theirs. But while the structure of the submission will be the same for all firms, it’s what is on the inside that matters. With that in mind, here are a few key factors to consider in putting together your Chambers submission.
1. Lawyers not currently ranked that Chambers should consider for ranking in the next edition – This section guides Chambers’ researchers to attorneys who have had a strong year. I have worked with many practice leaders who hesitate to cut people from this list for fear of hurting feelings…or political missteps. That is a mistake. Try to steer your attorneys towards tightening up this section. I recommend including 3-4 partners and 1-2 associates for whom you are also listing related work and client references.
2. What is your firm best known for in this practice area? – As Chambers requests, avoid clichés here…industry jargon, legal buzzwords, etc. Oftentimes, you’ll need to write this section just for Chambers, as RFP and website language is not the same style that works best here. This is your chance to make your group stand out, so use short, succinct sentences and bullet points that will catch the researcher’s attention.
3. Matters – If you are fortunate enough to work with attorneys who will write the matter descriptions or if you have a matter database, be sure to edit the content as appropriate for the submission. Oftentimes, they will be written in a straightforward, legally accurate style that needs to be polished and freshened up a bit for the Chambers researcher who is reading thousands of these descriptions. While 2-3 paragraphs are acceptable, aim for brevity and clarity. And don’t hesitate to be crystal clear about the significance of a matter, i.e., ”This case was significant because…”
4. References – While not technically part of the submission, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention references. When I spoke with Laura Mills to the Law Firm Media Professionals group in March, she mentioned that quantity is important when trying to get attorneys ranked. You can lighten up on references for attorneys who are consistently ranked, but stack the decks in favor of others who you would like to have ranked and who have the matters to support a ranking.
What elements of a Chambers submission do you have questions about?