On April 28, Chambers released the 2015 USA research schedule. While some dates have changed and a few new categories were added, the majority of the schedule remains the same.

At the recent Legal Marketing Association conference, law firm rankings and directories were discussed in a breakout session on “The Future of Law Firm PR: The Good, Bad & Ugly.” I’m sure it is no surprise that “The Ugly” referred to legal rankings and directories. In fact, some attendees even groaned when the subject came up.

No matter how you feel about legal rankings, there are several lists that all law firms strive to be on, Chambers being one of them. No one is going to disagree that the process for crafting a Chambers submission is lengthy, but, with the proper planning, it can be less stressful. Here is an outline of what you can do now to prepare for the process.

Get the Right People in Place

Someone at your law firm or agency should be designated as responsible for each submission, someone to approve each submission, and someone to oversee and manage the entire process. The “overseer” is responsible for the overall submission process, from drafting a project timeline to receiving communications. It is also best to clearly define who is managing each submission. This person should be responsible for meeting deadlines, handling submission entries and gathering information. Finally, don’t forget the stamp of approval from the practice area heads.

Review the Schedule Early and Often

Familiarize yourself with the schedule and researchers assigned to your practice areas. Check at least once a week to see if there have been any revisions.

Update Contact Information

Contact Chambers to make sure they have the right contact person for your firm. It is best to have one person who can disseminate the information. You should touch base with the researcher for your practice area, too. This includes making sure your username and password is working.

Review 2014 Chambers USA

The Chambers USA 2014 edition will be released on May 23. Review your law firm’s rankings and adjust your plans based on those rankings.

Allocate Plenty of Time

To properly research and prepare each nomination takes four to six weeks. This will allow time to interview the practice leaders, line up client references, and write and finalize the nomination.

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart (KISS)

Researchers read hundreds of these ranking submissions. The best submissions are succinct. As a legal marketer, you are in the position of knowing the ins and outs of your law firm. Start with filling in the firm information, and take a stab at the matters you think should be included. Then meet with the attorneys to discuss the details and significant litigation highlights to include. Just make sure to keep it simple.

If you have any questions regarding the Chambers schedule or submission process, or want help organizing and preparing submissions, please contact rankings@jaffepr.com.