There will be huge sighs of relief heard across law firm marketing departments today as the latest UK deadline for Chambers submissions passes. What a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day – who says romance is dead?!

Without wishing to ruin the party, unfortunately the hard work doesn’t stop here and the upcoming research process is crucial when it comes to achieving the rankings you deserve.

The legal directories place huge importance on feedback. So how do you best prepare for those important interviews with the researchers?

You (hopefully) wouldn’t walk into a pitch without being thoroughly prepared so approach the
interview in the same way.

Here are a few pointers from our expert directories team on how to nail a stellar and memorable partner interview.

Prepare

Like a pitch, approach this from the researcher’s perspective – what information do they need?  Avoid getting bogged down in technical legal details.

Review current rankings and in line with your submission, be clear on where your team should rank (objectively) and be ready to back this up with fact. Avoid giving the impression that you are aiming for an ‘aspirational’ ranking.

You are not likely to have time to talk about every individual put forward for a ranking so be
prepared to discuss key names. You are most likely to have success where you can promote
individuals who have had a strong year in terms of stellar work examples and referees.

Attendees

The directories prefer that only one partner sits in on the interview, which is most naturally going to be the head of team or practice group. Avoid a battalion of partners turning up to the interview, which makes it far less likely that you will present clear points in support of your practice in the time allocated.

Ideally you will have a face-to-face interview. Where this is not possible and it is done by phone, take the call in a meeting room so you feel free to speak openly and without distraction. There may be difficult aspects such as a key partner leaving that you wish to discuss and will be unable to do at your desk.

Peer review

Be prepared to talk about the market, competitor firms and teams and key individuals
at other firms. Being unable to comment on the market will lead the researchers to questions how
immersed you are in the sector.

Have details at your fingers tips about firms and individuals you regularly see on deals/matters and also individuals considered to be ‘thought leaders’, such as those appearing at conferences and in the press, and up-and-coming lawyers etc. Be candid but factual. All comments will remain anonymous.

Market feedback

Be prepared to discuss your/the firm’s views on the market, key sector developments and also changes in the legal sector (impact of mergers, changes or trends in client service delivery etc).

Approach

While for some partners during their extremely busy schedule this will seem like a chore, make sure this isn’t the impression you give the researcher. Build rapport, find out if there are any aspects of the submission they would like to clarify and offer to follow up with information about any developments in the team. The researchers have an extremely difficult job, working with them
will be appreciated.

Good luck with your submissions and if you’d like to know how we can support you in the future, please get in touch.

Request a copy of our white paper

Please email directories@mdcomms.co.uk to obtain a copy of our white paper Legal Directories: Are they still relevant?

About us

MD Communications are experts at boosting the reputation of law firms and suppliers to the legal sector- whether that’s enhancing your legal directory submissions, raising your profile in the media, or improving your social media presence.

Melissa Davis is the managing director of MD Communications, the international legal PR agency. She is also the former chair of the IBA Law Firm Management Committee Business Development Working Group and a member of the ABA Transnational Legal Practice Committee.

MD Communications is on Twitter @mdcomms

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