Making the Most of Legal Directory Interviews

Directories and Rankings

In the competitive legal market, law firms and their lawyers strive to showcase their expertise, experience, and achievements in global legal directories. While written submissions and client feedback are undeniably the most crucial components in these rankings, one must not underestimate the significance of the third component: market feedback – primarily gathered through partner interviews.

Beyond merely gathering information for the researcher, these interviews offer a personal opportunity to cultivate relationships, delve into finer details, and gain deeper insights into the ranking process. They provide invaluable interactions with researchers, fostering connections and enhancing understanding.

What are Directory Interviews?

During these interviews, researchers look to add to their knowledge of the market by gathering additional information about law firms and lawyers to assess their eligibility for inclusion in the directory. These interviews offer an opportunity for firms and individuals to present their achievements, notable cases, client testimonials, and other relevant information that can strengthen their candidacy, and add point to any extra matters or new clients that may have come about since the submission was sent in.

Directories, such as the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, often split their interviews into three main sections. In no particular order, one wave of questions will focus solely on the team’s work and the individuals involved; another on general trends in the wider market and how these have changed/are expected to change; and another that concentrates on peer feedback and your views on the current rankings of firms and individuals.

Preparation is Key

Firms and lawyers should thoroughly review the criteria for inclusion in the directory and ensure that they have the necessary evidence to support their submissions. While it’s advisable to review the submission beforehand, there’s no need to recite details verbatim as the interview serves as a supplement to the written submission; researchers are interested in what goes “beyond” the submission.

Here’s how to come prepared:

  1. Key Matters: Identify three key matters that exemplify your firm’s expertise, achievements, and contributions to the legal field. Be ready to discuss these matters in detail, highlighting their significance and the unique approach taken by your firm.
  2. Comparison to Other (Higher) Ranked Firms/Individuals: Prepare a comparison of your firm or individual lawyers to others in the field. Provide supportive information, such as case studies, client testimonials, or industry recognition, to substantiate these claims. Showcase what sets you apart and why you stand out in the market.
  3. Feedback on Current Rankings: If applicable. Discuss any areas where you believe your firm or lawyers have been underrated or overlooked. Provide concrete examples and evidence to support your feedback. You may be the best firm but the researchers will not take your word  for it unless it’s supported by facts (statistics, deal value and big client names, etc.).

Showing kindness, respect, and offering assistance to fellow researchers is invaluable. Human connection is irreplaceable; it ensures that others will remember you favourably when the time comes for ranking in directories

Follow-Up and Feedback

After the interview, it’s advisable to follow up with the researchers to address any additional questions or provide supplementary information if needed. Additionally, soliciting feedback from the researchers can offer valuable insights into areas where the firm or lawyer can enhance their candidacy for future directory editions.

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