Submissions to Legal Directories without stress

Every year, the submission deadlines for work highlights and references to the directories can be found in the middle of summer. While everyone is on vacation the marketing department is frantically trying to track down the most striking cases for each section. Every year it’s another race against the clock to meet that deadline. There is no more time for proactive advice and producing a detailed, all-encompassing description of the highlights is nigh impossible. Yet, isn’t that what the sections are allowed to expect from the commercial team? Even though nearly every client we meet struggles with this commercial process, we believe there is a simple, better solution. One without stress.

What can you do as commercial manager to improve this process?

Throughout the year, collect the most important information regarding ongoing cases and clients of the sections. When the commercial team has a firm grasp on the progress of ongoing practice group cases and knows which issues are at play and which clients, lawyers, and opposition etc. play a role in said issues, all relevant information will be ready and available on time to prepare a submission.

Do you believe the responsibility to communicate and gather information resides with the partners?

Even if it does, you can help facilitate this process and prevent unnecessary stress. The dilemma within the legal profession is that a lawyer is expected to deliver the content, be the specialist, as well as act as account manager on behalf of his clients. To be both blue and red is a challenge. Communicating, sharing, and recording commercial information is often not a priority for partners or even a part of the system. However, this is essential for the firm’s marketing. After all, your only marketable elements are the success stories that prove you are a specialist.

How do you facilitate this process?
  • Connect with the sections on a recurring basis. Discuss the most important cases, developments, and clients with the teams you supervise. This way you are up to date and can record commercial information in a timely matter. You also ensure that you have access to approved content that can be supplemented as you go.
  • Become a proactive adviser. When you consistently collect commercial data, you will find yourself in a position where you can proactively provide commercial advice. You will be knowledgeable about the practice group’s ongoing business, you will know what has been done on behalf of the client and you will be familiar with the client relationship. This will make it easier to make timely course corrections and allow you that quality first step towards a submission.    
  • Create a system in which the most important information regarding your cases and clients (credentials) is stored in a structured manner. Keeping an excel file is a good start but it has the downside of merely storing data. It does not contribute to the process of internal knowledge-sharing and cooperation. That is why early next year, Bluewall will be launching its own tool designed to target and tackle the commercial data process within law firms. Stay tuned!   
Questions?

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