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Legal directories – why they matter and who they influence

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23 days ago by Alice Neal

Legal directories – why they matter and who they influence

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As our clients across London and the South East celebrate being ranked in the Legal 500 directory, we take a look at why Chambers and the Legal 500 directories are so important to firms and to candidates.

Established in the mid-80s, whilst initially considered obtuse by the sector, the London-based directories of Chambers and Legal 500 have become an established part of the annual legal calendar. The publication of the results in Autumn can cause firms to celebrate or commiserate yearly and are thought about and worked on long before that.

The effort that goes into the submissions for both publications are complicated, detailed and long-winded. Entire marketing teams are to put to work to ensure they present their firms in the best light, and the resulting accolades proudly displayed on marketing materials and digital spaces across the country.

For firms, the benefits of ranking are numerous. Apart from being a clear signal to potential clients of the quality of the firm’s work, it allows the firm to set themselves apart from competitors, improves their visibility online, and because of the detail given in the directories, it offers a detailed insight into the type of work the firm offers, attracting top legal talent. To be ranked suggests the firm, team or individual are a key player in the legal field, and it can mean the difference between instruction or a brush-off.

Of course, the directories will not be the only deciding factor in a client choosing the firm, as there is rarely just one influencing aspect that result in a conversion in any purchasing decision. However, it is certain that the directories aid, and are used as, part of a client’s research alongside other material such as reviews, word of mouth and initial impressions and presentations.

For candidates, it is a great indication of the quality and type of work the firm offers its employees. Because of the details the directories delve into, with interviews, submissions and reviews, the rankings are a fairly accurate and mostly fair reflection of the firm’s teams, clientele and cases. It is also beneficial to an individual’s career to work in a ranked firm. They are often the firms that are working on complex cases, in fast environments and with top clients. It aids the candidate’s professional development and makes them much more appealing for future hires. As a result, the firms get better legal professionals applying.

The benefits of ranking in these well-known and respected directories are apparent, to both the firm and its clients, but there is a time, effort and financial cost implicated with the application part of the process. The firm has to be committed to delivering a great submission, and it will inevitably take up the time and energy of partners, perhaps the hiring of an agency to manage the process, and even then there is no guarantee of inclusion. However, it is a worthwhile process to go through should it acquire a firm better hires, better clients and a better reputation amongst peers and competitors.

Get in touch with our team to find out which of our Chambers and Legal 500 firms are currently hiring, or how being in the directories can help your firm attract formidable legal talent.