referee-2Hear those doors slamming and heads banging from your legal marketer’s direction? It can mean many different things, but between now and the end of the year, it’s most likely your Chambers & Partners submissions are due. Lucky for me, I work for a boutique and we keep our submissions manageable and simple. But I’ve worked in an AmLaw 100 where we did everything for every one across multiple states, time zones and continents. We had to manage what felt like a non-stop deluge of submissions across states and practice groups. John Hellerman at Hellerman Baretz just posted Clients: The Secret to Your (Chambers) Success:

The research cycle for Chambers USA kicked off on Monday, which means submission season is well and truly underway.  It also means, no doubt, that lots of you are panicking.  You may be wondering whether you’re ready, and if not, where you should be focusing your energy.  The answer is very simple, and involves two words: client referees.

For those of us on this side of the pond, referees are your references. While you might think that having the GC at your favorite Fortune 500 is the best reference due to name recognition and panache, the guy or gal a few notches down on the totem pole is most likely the better choice due to their accessibility, knowledge of the actual work you and the firm are doing, and willingness (and time) to return the call. A few little secrets I’ve learned over the years:

  • Chambers will only call a reference once every 6 months to a year. So if they spoke to your reference in June, they will not speak to her again in September.
  • Chambers will not tell you who is on the do-not-call list.
  • Chambers will not confirm with you which of your references they have contacted.
  • Chamber WILL tell you how many of your references they have reached.

So, if your “interview” period is in August, you might want to give a call mid-month to see how many of your references have been called. If only two out of the ten have been contacted, you need to get your partners on the phone. Who did they reach? Who did they miss? Who is out of town? Who can you substitute in? Great work is great work. But Chambers wants to hear about it from your references.