Skip to main content

How to ace your firm's Chambers submission

Having recently completed the last of my Chambers submissions for the 2018 publication, I'm sharing my tips while the process is still fresh in my mind. Before you know it, it will be time to get cracking on submissions for the 2019 edition. My advice pertains to referees, the interview, and the researcher and overall process.

Referees are (not) the easiest part

Throw together your list of referees, submit it, and forget about it. Wrong. Use your 20 spots strategically. Be thoughtful about who you list. The best client referee doesn't need to be the CEO of the company; pick the person who is familiar with your work and will sing your praises. Similarly, better to list someone who will be more likely to respond to the Chambers researcher than the person with the most senior job title. Ask referees for permission to list them before you do so. You can ask the researcher when he/she plans to contact the referees, and then give your referees a heads up to look out for Chambers' email. Also ask referees to let you know once they have responded to Chambers. This is the best way to ensure you get the highest response possible. Clients are just as busy as us; if it's not on their radar, they may overlook it or dismiss as spam. The researcher won't divulge which clients have responded, but they may tell you how many of your 20 have responded. If you have a response rate of 6 out of 20, follow up with the referees. Client interviews are the most important factor in a researcher's consideration. Don't leave it to chance. And of course, once you get ranked, send a big thank you to the clients you listed. 

Interview with researcher

Review the list of currently ranked lawyers and firms in your practice area. Identify any lawyers from other firms that you are friendly with, and suggest a reciprocal arrangement. (i.e., you plan to speak highly of them to the researcher and would be greatly appreciated if they would do the same for you.) Be prepared on the call to point out any lawyers or firms on the list that you think are missing or incorrectly placed. I would follow an 80/20 rule here in terms of how much positive and negative feedback to provide. If you are too critical you risk alienating the researcher. At the same time, now is not the time for modesty. Make your case clearly as to why your team should be ranked. Along the same lines, have your own agenda for the call. The Chambers researcher will ask about wider market trends, and your opinion on the current listing. Weave in the messages you want to get across. 

Playing a long game 

Part of what makes Chambers worth its salt is its exclusivity. They don't let just anyone on the list, and it certainly isn't easy. So if you don't get ranked on first couple of attempts, don't give up. Manage your team's expectations on this and make sure they know that Chambers is a long game, and winning requires grit.  


Popular posts from this blog

The Science of Happiness Explained

I'm at the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans, and almost skipped the keynote session - because an hour-long talk about happiness sounded irritating. But actually I didn't want to strangle the speaker at all. 

The Happiness Professor as she is known, is Catherine Sanderson. She teaches at Amherst College and has degrees from Princeton and Stanford. She presented research from the field of positive psychology that looks at the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provided practical ways that we can increase our own psychological well-being.
Things we think will make us happy, but really don’t: Money. (Note: for people worried about survival, this doesn’t apply.) But beyond that, the more of it one has, the more one wants. 
Climate. Not convinced about this one. As a person who has been living in Florida for 6 years, from Canada, I can tell you that she may have gotten this one wrong. 
Life event. In other words, when X thing happ…

The new year’s resolution every associate should make

Our firm's associates are a talented bunch. They graduated top of their class, have backgrounds as musical theater performers and soccer players, and are multilingual and multicultural. But brains and talent can only get one so far in today’s legal profession. Regardless of what their future career goals are - to make partner, start their own firm, join a government or nonprofit organization - everyone needs a roadmap to get where they want to go. Help your associates to make it their new year’s resolution to create a business development plan in 2018. Here’s how to coach them: Create a written plan. Writing down your goals makes you accountable to them and more likely to achieve them. Also, you get the satisfaction of crossing your action items off your list as you complete them. Find a sample template online and use it.   Don't fret that you have written down your goals and are now tied to them. Think of your plan as a living, breathing document, and correct course as you go.…

Book Review: Accelerating Lawyer Success

What does success look like in law firms? The authors, frustrated with the abundance of anecdotal evidence and lack of empirical evidence to answer this question, set out to solve it with research. Their findings are based on studies including a comprehensive, 75-item survey completed by 343 lawyers at U.S. AmLaw 100 firms. They examine, among other things, the differences between lawyers who made partner in less than 10 years and those who didn't.
Accelerating Lawyer Success: How to Make Partner, Stay Healthy, and Flourish in a Law Firm. By Lori Berman, Heather Bock, and Juliet Aiken. 

The authors have uncovered the recipe for how to make partner in less than 10 years. In short, it involves hard work and quality work, strategic relationship building, planning, help from mentors, and a mind-set of being the master of your own fate. You gotta build relationships strategically, invest in them, and leverage them. You need goals, to make plans, and to stick to them for the most part. An…