Legal marketers are constantly discussing the value of legal rankings, and rightfully so. Not all rankings are equal in their credibility and prestige. Furthermore, many legal marketers feel the task of completing submissions is a necessary evil, forced upon them by attorneys who neglect to understand the true value of each ranking.
In truth, the value of a specific ranking varies from firm to firm. Firms have to consider many factors when deciding whether to devote time and resources to completing a submission.
The Value of Legal Rankings
Recently, the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) and Law Firm Media Professionals (LFMP) published the results of their research on the “ROI of Law Firm Submissions.” While I am sure many marketers were looking for clear-cut ROI for specific rankings, the study concluded that each firm must establish its own unique criteria to determine the value of each ranking.
Specifically, the study concludes a ranking’s value can be evaluated based on:
- Effectiveness of stated goal
- Cost to prepare submission
- Effectiveness of publication
When evaluating whether to craft a ranking submission, firms should understand what their business development goals are and how the submission fits into that goal. They also should evaluate the cost to the firm (including attorney’s time). Finally, firms should ask themselves: Does this publication resonate with clients?
Clients can be defined as both internal (attorneys) and external (business clients). This goes back to the particulars of the goal: Is the firm looking to highlight its successes, give kudos to attorneys or improve morale?
For more information about the criteria you can use to evaluate a ranking, check out a couple of our past articles on the topic: “Is this legal ranking worth it?” and “Rankings Overload: Which surveys are right for your firm?”
Improving the Ranking Submission Process
Once you have established which legal rankings to submit to, you can take a number of steps to establish best practices for managing the submission process.
Establish a point person – Having one person, either an internal marketing person or a consultant, who is responsible for all aspects of the submission process, reduces redundancy and provides consistency.
Repurpose – Leveraging previously written submissions saves time and money. If you have already done the legwork to create a compelling submission, then there is no need to reinvent the wheel. And don’t forget, there is a silver lining to writing Chambers submissions.
Make it a routine – When your law firm completes an important case, gather the pertinent information while it is fresh in everyone’s mind. Assembling the case information at this time ensures details are not forgotten and saves time in tracking down information.
Get organized – Save time and money by organizing the information from previous submissions and completed matters in a system, preferably a database, that is easy to navigate. This eliminates the need to track down data from disparate sources at the last minute.
Make a plan – Establish which rankings will help the firm with its business development goals. Rankings play a key role in helping law firms establish credibility, improve morale and validate success. Once the key rankings are established, it is crucial to create and maintain a schedule for meeting deadlines.