For Heads of Legal Departments, the return to work in the New Year is a busy time. Self-assessment deadlines, family law enquiries spike, employment issues from the festive period, the list goes on. Perhaps half way down the list is the need to finish Legal 500 submissions by 12 February.
This is the reality law firm marketers are working with. Too often submissions end up being rushed and while it is the fee earner that has sign off, too frequently (s)he does not appreciate how to present the information in the most favourable way.
If there is one piece of advice I would give before starting to prepare a submission, it would be to read these guidelines: The Legal 500 submission Guidelines. Follow these and you won’t go too far wrong.
Where do law firms go wrong with their Legal 500 submissions?
- Firms don’t follow the submission guidelines closely enough. The guidelines are explicit – take this extract as an example.
- Firms fail to distinguish between hyperbole and fact; often presenting the former as the latter.
- Teams don’t work hard enough to prominently present those elements that make them unique.
- Firms fail to understand that the researchers are under big time pressures themselves. Preparing a researcher-friendly submission is in itself of value.
- Firms focus too much on their own matters and not enough on the market, ie commenting on the competitors and client trends. Many firms fall into this trap; the enlightened ones understand the benefit of giving the wider subject some thought and comment.
- Firms underestimate the time it takes to prepare the spreadsheet of referees and it can be presented as an afterthought. What others say about you is often more valuable that the claims you make about your team in a submission.
Sixth Sense Marketing has over 20 years helping teams in law firms prepare successful Legal 500 submissions. Our advice helps departments achieve a ranking that truly reflects their market position.
Legal 500 submission advice and support can be provided in two ways:
- A full service that briefs the team, collates the information, prepares the draft and liaises with key team members through to sign-off.
- An editorial service where a well-developed draft is passed over for comment – a ‘polishing service’ if you like.
To enquire about whether we can save time and add value to your submissions this year, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01252 213131.
Read more: Marketing for Law Firms