Chambers USA launched its first Regional Spotlight guide in January 2023, ranking small and medium-sized firms in Texas. By now, you may have read about or seen Regional Spotlight but might not fully understand the guide’s purpose or how it could benefit your firm. I recently spoke to James Haggerty, Head of Research at Chambers USA, about this new guide to learn some key differences between Regional Spotlight and the main rankings in Chambers USA.
What is Chambers Regional Spotlight?
According to Chambers USA, “Chambers Regional Spotlight is a showcase of leading, small law firms in a specific region. It is designed to highlight law firms who are doing remarkable work [that] results in an impressive regional reputation.”
The Chambers website describes the difference between a Regional Spotlight and Chambers USA main guide ranking as follows: “Where Chambers USA focuses on the top end of the legal market, ranking regional, national, and international law firm departments and individual attorneys; Chambers Regional Spotlight highlights middle and lower-mid-market firms. Our Spotlight rankings are awarded at a firm-wide level, recognizing firms that are well known for their expertise in one of four selected areas of law, across six cities in Texas.”
Based on an intense research process, Chambers identified small and medium-sized firms doing impressive work in these six Texas markets for inclusion and recognition in Chambers 2023 Regional Spotlight.
- Corpus Christi
- El Paso
- San Antonio
Texas rankings in Chambers USA include:
- Austin & surrounds
- Dallas Fort Worth & surrounds
- Houston & surrounds
- San Antonio & surrounds
- Texas: Western
Chambers USA included over 40 practice areas in Texas for its 2023 guide, whereas the Regional Spotlight only focuses on four.
- Dispute Resolution
- Intellectual Property
- Labor & Employment
“We follow the research, and the research was telling us there are firms doing exceptional work that might not be reflected in the main guide, so we created something new where we could highlight them,” explained Haggerty. “Chambers was built on the foundation of using our extensive research process to provide an accurate representation of the legal market. We have been adding cities and practice areas to the main guide as the legal market evolves, so it was only fitting to create a space for smaller firms to be recognized as well. We’re thrilled with the results of the inaugural Regional Spotlight and look forward to expanding into additional markets.”
Six Burning Questions Regarding Spotlight
When I spoke to James, I asked him to elaborate on the details that needed the most clarification. He also shared additional insights to encourage firms to participate.
Question: Can our firm/attorneys be ranked in both Chambers USA and Chambers Regional Spotlight?
Answer: Currently, Chambers Regional Spotlight is exclusively for firms that Chambers has not yet ranked in the USA main guide.
Chambers Insight: The exception to this is a firm that has a well-known attorney ranked in the main guide but doesn’t quite meet the threshold to achieve a Chambers USA department ranking in their jurisdiction(s) and practice area(s). In those instances, the firm can be included in a Regional Spotlight, which are only awarded at a firm-wide level.
Q: What is the submission process?
A: The submission process is one of the most significant differences from the main guide. Firms are vetted and selected by researchers and asked to provide further information on their practice. Firms do not submit a formal narrative document or referees (references) to be included in the Regional Spotlight guide.
Chambers Insight: By scaling down the submission process, Chambers can highlight firms doing exceptional work that may not have the resources to complete a submission.
Q: How will Chambers conduct the research process?
A: A team of dedicated researchers will focus on Regional Spotlight and be supervised by an experienced research specialist. Information collected from firms is combined with feedback obtained during the main guide’s research process.
Chambers Insight: The goal is to make inclusion and recognition achievable for small and mid-sized firms. Chambers is creating a team [for] this guide that will focus exclusively on deserving firms, both conducting new research and drawing from previous findings and feedback.
Q: How did you determine the practice areas?
A: Based on the main guide research and research completed for Regional Spotlight, Chambers identified the initial practice areas where they saw exceptional talent.
Chambers Insight: The practice areas and cities that Chambers included in the 2023 Texas publication could expand year over year. In other regions, practice areas will likely vary based on market feedback. If your firm doesn’t fit in the categories of an inaugural guide, that does not exclude you from future consideration.
Q: What’s next for this offering?
A: Chambers has its sights set on three other states — New York, Florida and North Carolina — for launching regional guides in 2023 and early 2024.
Chambers Insight: Similar to Texas, New York, Florida and North Carolina have thriving legal centers in locations beyond their largest metropolitan areas, where Chambers USA often focuses its research and breakouts.
Q: Should my firm participate?
A: The short answer is yes. If you’re a small to mid-sized firm that understands the value of Chambers recognition, Regional Spotlight is likely a good option for you.
Chambers Insight: James reminds us, “Chambers’ insight into the legal market has seen a trend of large companies seeking specialized support from smaller firms at a state or local level [that] can respond more effectively and efficiently to in-house counsel needs.”
Jaffe can assist with strategy and recommendations for inclusion in either guide. If you’d like to be considered for a Chambers Regional Spotlight ranking in the future, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page or reach out to Evyan O’Keefe, RankingsForLawyers® Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 347.213.7656.