Okay. The video I posted last week, Before You Best or Super Lawyer, Watch This!,has really reasonated with my peers.

Like many of you, I have had similar conversations with attorneys in the firms where I have worked over the years.

Luckily for me, my current firm gets it.

And while I might make fun of some of these directories (okay, I do, and often), they do have their place in your marketing plan and should not be ignored. You just need to be strategic about it and understand their value, which will be different for every attorney and firm.

Here are a few of my thoughts on a few of these directories. You can assume that if I am not mentioning a director or peer-review rated system, I don’t place high value in it (today).

  1. Most directories have been invented to sell advertising.
  2. You will not bring in a new client because on your bio it now says that you are a Best, Super or Tier 1 attorney.
  3. Clients WILL be impressed if you make the US News & World Report survey, which uses Best Lawyers‘ data. The plaque looks pretty nice in our lobby as well. (SEE >>>>>>>)
  4. If you have a consumer practice, or a local corporate/litigation practice, participate in the survey that shows up in your Sunday paper.
  5. Spend the time on Chambers. They actually do their research and it means something. But know that the interviews are what really count. Be prepared. Prepare your references. DON’T IGNORE THE CALL.
  6. You as the lawyer have to participate. I as the marketer cannot fill out the Best Lawyers or Super Lawyers ballot for you. You must spend those 2 (non-billable) minutes all by yourself.
  7.  If you don’t fill out the survey, you won’t be ranked, don’t blame your marketer.
  8. These surveys all have a peer review component to them. Make nice with your peers. (Don’t be such an asshole, in other words).
  9. Focus on industry rankings in trade association journals. That’s what your clients read.
  10. It’s worth mentioning twice: Surveys are designed to sell advertising and plaques. Don’t be flattered once you are named to all the other directories. They’re just trying to sell you a plaque/advertising as well.

And just a warning, Chambers is changing how they conduct and rank their survey starting next year (for the 2013 additions). Time to go out and educate yourself.

Happy ranking!