• : Bhavya Bhatt
  • : 30-05-2024

Securing acknowledgement from esteemed directories holds immense potential to elevate your law firm’s standing, attract prospective clientele, and reinforce your authority within the legal sphere. However, navigating through this landscape requires a strategic approach to ensure that your submission distinguishes itself amidst a plethora of contenders.

The crux lies in preparing a submission that not only captivates but also informs, effectively spotlighting your firm’s merits and distinct value proposition. This discourse endeavours to furnish you with the requisite insights to achieve precisely that objective. We will explore key facets of proficient submissions while discovering prevalent pitfalls that could impede your quest for distinguished recognition.

Part 1: Building a Submission that Impresses

Before you hit submit, take a strategic approach to ensure your application shines. Here are 10 key takeaways:

  1. Know the Score: Each directory has its specific criteria. Dedicate time to thoroughly research the ranking you are targeting. Understand what qualities they value most in a firm. Adapting your submission to these specific criteria demonstrates your understanding of what it takes to succeed in their eyes.
  2. Time is Money (and Recognition): Deadlines are sacrosanct. Missing even by a day can disqualify your submission altogether. Develop a well-organized timeline to ensure you have ample time to gather all necessary information, refine your narrative, and submit well before the deadline.
  3. Let Your Achievements Speak Volumes: Do not be shy! Highlight your most impressive accomplishments and successful cases. Quantify your results whenever possible. Did you secure a record-breaking settlement? Did you win a landmark case that redefined legal precedent? Showcase these wins with compelling details and data.
  4. Show, Do Not Tell: Supporting materials are your secret weapon. Back your claims with concrete evidence. Client testimonials, awards, media mentions, and pro bono work can significantly strengthen your submission and add credibility to your narrative.
  5. Leave No Stone Unturned: A comprehensive submission leaves no room for unanswered questions. Provide detailed information on your practice areas, team expertise, and any other relevant details that showcase your firm’s capabilities.
  6. Embrace Innovation: What sets you apart from the pack? Do not be afraid to highlight your firm’s innovative strategies, cutting-edge approaches, and unique client service models. Let the ranking committee understand how your firm pushes the boundaries of legal practice.
  7. Numbers Do Not Lie: Quantify your achievements whenever possible. Do not just say you are successful; prove it. Use impressive statistics to showcase your track record. This could include the number of cases won, settlements secured, or pro bono hours dedicated.
  8. Choose Your Champions Wisely: Referees play a critical role in validating your claims.  Select referees who are highly respected within the legal community and who can speak directly to your firm’s strengths and expertise. Generic endorsements from distant acquaintances lack weight and do little to convince the ranking committee of your firm’s capabilities.
  9. Tailor Your Message: Customize your submission to address the specific criteria and interests of each directory you apply to. Generic submissions reeking of copy-paste are easily overlooked.
  10. Feedback is Your Friend: Many legal ranking directories offer valuable resources and guidance to help you prepare strong submissions. Do not hesitate to utilize these resources.  Seek feedback on past submissions and use it to continuously improve your application process.

Part 2: Submission Blunders to Avoid

Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. Here’s a breakdown of the common submission mistakes that can derail your legal ranking aspirations:

  1. Incomplete Information: Accuracy is paramount. Inaccurate or missing data raises red flags for ranking committees. Double-check all details for completeness before submitting. This includes basic firm information like contact details, practice areas, and team member biographies. It is essential to ensure consistency across all sections to avoid any discrepancies. Missing data might lead the committee to believe your firm is disorganized or lacks attention to detail.
  2. Citation Faux Pas: Following proper citation guidelines is crucial for maintaining professionalism and credibility. Ensure all references and sources used to support your claims are properly formatted according to the ranking directory’s specific requirements.  Most directories have their style guide for citations.  Inconsistent or incorrect citations can make your submission appear sloppy and unprofessional.
  3. Referee (Roulette): Do not choose referees simply based on convenience or personal relationships. Select referees who are highly respected within the legal community and who can speak directly to your firm’s specific strengths and areas of expertise. Ideally, choose referees who have worked with your firm on high-profile cases or who can attest to your achievements.
  4. Failure to Showcase Specializations: Do not be afraid to toot your own horn! Highlight your areas of expertise and the unique value you bring to the table. Legal rankings often recognize firms with exceptional capabilities in specific practice areas.  Dedicate a section to showcasing your firm’s specializations, including team members with recognized expertise and noteworthy cases handled within those areas. Failing to showcase your specializations makes it difficult for the ranking committee to understand what sets your firm apart.


Excelling in legal rankings requires a strategic approach. By conducting thorough research, submitting on time, showcasing achievements with evidence, and customizing submissions, firms can stand out. Accuracy, proper citation, and selecting respected referees are crucial for credibility. Transparency about weaknesses and highlighting specializations are also essential. Diligence and adherence to guidelines are key to securing recognition in the competitive legal sphere.

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