deadline clockIt’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 submission deadlines remain the same as last year, but it’s always a good idea to look over the schedule carefully once you have identified the practice areas and attorneys you want to include in this year’s submission. Keep in mind that there are impending deadlines as soon as early June. We suggest starting your submissions five to six weeks prior to the actual deadline.

Several new state and national categories have been added to this year’s research process. They are: AL Healthcare; CA Native American Law; TX Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations; and Upstate NY Real Estate. Be on the lookout for those deadlines if these practice areas are relevant for your firm.

You can access the entire Chambers research schedule here.

2)  New template increases matters from 15 to 20

Chambers’ new submission template includes increased space for matters – from 15 total matters per submission to 20 total matters per submission. The new template separates the matters in a “Confidential” section for up to 10 matters and a “Publishable” section for up to 10 matters. Note that if you do not have an even split of 10 confidential and 10 publishable matters, you can use one section or the other to include 20 matters total – just make sure the confidentiality status of each matter is clearly marked. There is also helpful color coding in the template that will help keep track of which section (confidential or publishable) of the template you are working in.

If you’ve been showing your due diligence in the Chambers process throughout the year and have been populating the previous template with updated info, Chambers will accept your submission on that template for now; however, we recommend you move to the new template as soon as possible to make the process smoother when the data hits Chambers.

You can download the new submission template here.

3)  Number of referees increased from 15 to 20

Firms can now submit a maximum of 20 referees per practice area – a slight increase from previous years.

You can download Chambers’ referee template here.

4) No more deadline extensions for submissions

Firms have seen some flexibility in submission deadlines in the past, but Chambers is urging firms to get them in by the posted deadline, noting that “we will accept late submission files,” but “cannot guarantee that those which arrive after the deadline will be able to receive the same level of attention as those that arrive on time.” Chambers also requests that you not reach out to tell them when your late submission will arrive.  When your submission is received, the information will be incorporated into the research process as much as it can be at that point…period.

Our advice: start whittling away at the process now. Determine the practice area(s) you’ll focus on, note the submission deadline associated with those practice areas, download the referee and submission templates, create internal deadlines, and get crackin’.

And finally – closing the cycle from your previous submission — if you have attorneys that are listed in the 2016 Chambers USA Guide, prepare for the May 27 online release!

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