While ChamberChambers referee post 3s submissions may seem like a time drain of epic proportions, direct positive benefits can be gained in the process far beyond the ultimate rankings themselves.  Asking clients and colleagues to act as references on your behalf is more than just asking a favor that will help you gain recognition in this esteemed publication – it is a business development opportunity in and of itself.

Since recently joining Knapp Marketing, I have been counselling many law firms as we enter the busy season for Chambers submissions. I always recommend that my clients choose referees who will have the time and ability to actually respond to the Chambers interview requests: while the General Counsel of the Fortune 500 Corporation with whom you worked on a major deal has a high level title and may have even made your initial hire, he may not appreciate being asked to give up thirty minutes of his time to speak to a researcher.  A Managing Partner of an international firm may be famous in your field, but perhaps it was the associate with whom you burned the midnight oil on significant transactions who can really talk about the details of the case on
which you worked together, your ability to handle challenges, and your work ethic.

I also strongly recommend that you contact all prospective referees well in advance of the date that Chambers may be following up with them.  Once a client of mine contacted one of his favorite co-counsels to ask her to be his Chambers referee: he found out that she was planning an imminent move to another firm. By having the conversation, he not only avoided making a major mistake on his submission form, but he was able to start forging connections with an entirely new firm and potential source of business. On another occasion, a lawyer whom my client believed would have no objection to the public mention of the matter in question let it be known that he would prefer that it remain confidential. Imagine the damage which might have resulted to that relationship if that conversation had happened after Chambers had contacted them, instead of the attorney checking it out ahead of time?

Ultimately, reaching out to potential referees can be a meaningful way of letting your clients and contacts know you value the work you have done together. It is also a way to get them up to speed on what you have been up to lately. If your deal was ten months ago, fill them in on what you have been working on, or make a date to have lunch and catch up.  Every touch in the business development pipeline can bring you closer to generating more business. The dreaded Chambers reference phone call can instead be considered one more opportunity to remind your contacts of the value you bring.  Remaining top of mind with them may make the difference the next time they really need help.


How to Align Your Real Life and Online Brands [Infographic]

May 24, 2016

In our recent article, “Focus to Grow: A Winning Practice Strategy for a Digital Age” (available on this blog and here at ABA Law Practice Today), we encourage attorneys to “engage in a purposeful and coordinated content marketing strategy that delivers the same messaging across traditional and digital mediums”. Pretty good advice, right? But wait, […]

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Focus to Grow: A Winning Practice Strategy for a Digital Age

May 5, 2016

This article was co-authored by Amy Knapp and Ezra Crawford and originally appeared on the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management blog. Lawyers often tell us they have limited time to devote to marketing and business development and want to know the most effective way to maximize their time. Without hesitation, our response is “specialize!” (Actually, […]

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Chambers USA: 4 Changes for This Year’s Submissions

April 28, 2016

It’s that time of year all legal marketers love to hate: Chambers season!  Editor, Laura Mills recently released three changes to the usual submission process, which we recap here.  In addition, we’ve added a few pointers for a less painful Chambers season. 1)  Updated schedule and the addition of several state and national categories Most […]

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3 Simple Tools to Help Optimize Your Law Firm’s Website in 2016

April 26, 2016

Creating a great website that speaks to your audience, is easy to use, and encourages interaction with your brand is no small feat. However, many companies and law firms may not realize that it’s only half the battle due to shifting Google search optimization guidelines and the continued migration from desktop to smaller devices. I liken […]

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Book Review: ‘Creating a Cross-Serving CultureShift: Mastering Cross-Selling for Lawyers and Leaders,’ by David Freeman

March 11, 2016

No one will disagree that it is often easier to get work from existing clients than from prospective clients, yet huge obstacles to cross-selling still existing in law firms. In his book, Creating a Cross-Serving CultureShift: Mastering Cross-Selling for Lawyers and Leaders, David Freeman gets to the heart of the matter and identifies a need for […]

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Five Lessons from a Social Media Survey of In-House Counsel

December 9, 2015

This article was co-authored by Mary K Young of Zeughauser Group and originally appeared on Bloomberg BNA’s Big Law Business blog. Just before Thanksgiving, Greentarget and Zeughauser Group released their 5th annual State of Digital and Content Marketing report. This year’s survey included responses from 181 in-house counsel (IHC) about their use of social media […]

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How and When to Get Your .law Domain Name

October 12, 2015

Today, all law firms will be able to apply for .law names. This top-level domain name is intended to create an online space in which only regulated, licensed legal practitioners can be found. In order to purchase your .law domain name, there are specific steps involved, as well as some key dates of which to […]

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The Chambers “A” List: How Some Firms Have Outsized Success with Chambers Rankings

July 8, 2015

This article was previously published in Strategies, May/June 2015. Want to instantly strike up a rapport with another legal marketer whom you don’t know yet? Share how you feel about Chambers submissions and you’ll be kvetching like old friends in no time! As Chambers season cranks into high gear for another year, we bring you […]

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The Great Attorney Bio Challenge! [Infographic]

March 25, 2015

Law firm website statistics tell the story over and over again: Attorney bio pages grab the lion’s share of the site’s traffic. Clients, potential clients and referral sources want to know about you, your expertise and your experience. Why not reward them with an engaging and insightful picture of what you can do? It’s always […]

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