When we consider the workload legal directories demand from law firm partners and marketing departments, one word comes to mind: challenging. And it’s true, the workload is challenging but the benefits of getting ranked by a legal directory such as Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 or IFLR 1000, for example, are well worth the effort.
Many lawyers come to me asking what they are doing wrong with their submissions. Or is it, perhaps, that their referee spreadsheet is not good enough? Why are they not achieving the rankings they aspire to? In many cases, the answer is simple: they don’t have a growth mindset. If you have a growth mindset, you and your law firm will not only achieve the rankings you deserve in any legal directory, but you will also fly the highest flights in the legal world.
But what is a growth mindset exactly?
A growth mindset is one in which you believe things are just starting to flourish and present skills can be developed. People who have a growth mindset understand that where they are now is just the starting point of a journey. They understand that effort is the path towards improvement. They seek out feedback on their work and then implement changes based on it so they can do better when the next opportunity presents itself.
So, how can a growth mindset help you with your legal directories’ submissions?
To begin with, a submission is an opportunity to tell your firm’s story to a publisher. Think then about how you can learn to tell this story in a more compelling way to your readership (the editorial team at a legal publication who will ultimately be writing for a much broader audience, including your potential clients). Learn about copywriting, marketing, storytelling, anything you think can help, likely will help. There is no such thing as useless knowledge. Learn about your readers. Search for and read all the articles you can find online about legal directories. Reach out to the experts in this field, reach out to the publication themselves. Learn and develop your skills. This is the beginning of the journey.
Then you have got to be in it to win it. Get organised, start writing your submission with good time in advance. Gather the information you need from your partners and co-workers throughout the year, not a few days before the deadline.
Do an exercise in self-criticism. What can you improve on next time? Could you be more thorough in your work highlight descriptions? Could you be more factual when describing your department? Have you sent in the right referees?
Change, improve, grow and achieve.
If you sent a submission to, say, Chambers, last year and did not get the results you were hoping for, you should not just give up and stop sending submissions altogether. If you sent one submission (or two, or three) and you are not getting where you want, OK: see this as an opportunity to exercise some self-criticism, improve, change and grow. Ask for help from an expert, if necessary.
This is what a growth mindset is about: perseverance, courage, learning and action. Follow this approach and the results with your legal directories submission will then naturally come.