It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the results of Chambers USA just came out and many lawyers and law firms are clogging up our social media feeds and even inboxes with news of their 2021 rankings.

Samples of the posts I’ve seen go something like this:

“I was recently recognized as a top [insert the practice] lawyer in Chambers USA” – yawn

“Once again, Chambers USA has included me among the top legal practitioners in [insert practice]”

I personally I think these posts come off as bragging and too self-congratulatory and boastful. Your clients aren’t super interested in this kind of news.

Check the number of likes you receive on these posts (and who liked them – it’s probably your colleagues and close friends) and let me know if I am right.

The reason why these posts don’t work is that your social media posts should be client-centric and focused on providing value to your followers if you want to be successful on professional social media platforms.

Strictly promotional items like this should only be shared by law firm social media company pages. I do not recommend that the individual ranked lawyers share the posts to congratulate themselves but rather they can share the posts from the firm accounts and follow the steps I outline in this article for how to take a more creative and humble approach to sharing recent awards and rankings. 

PPS – Everyone knows that while clients are the ones who provided the feedback for Chambers, no lawyer with a sound mind would never give a reference who wouldn’t speak highly of them or who wouldn’t return the researchers’ calls in the first place.

And PPPS – in-house counsel increasingly say that the legal rankings are not why they select outside counsel. In fact, they don’t even factor it into their buying decisions. Word of mouth referrals mean a lot more than vanity directory listings. Even a Google search for a lawyer with particular expertise is often more powerful than being listed in a particular band in a guide.

Think about that for a minute, because your marketing people or outside consultants are spending a lot of time compiling these submissions on your behalf. So is it really worth it? 

Sure, being included on these lists is nice, especially among your competitors, and you certainly wouldn’t want to fall off of a Chambers list or another similar ranking if you were already on one, but if you are weighing how to allocate time and money, this isn’t where I would spend it. Instead, dedicate your marketing to client development, attorney training, lead generation and content marketing efforts.

One of the benefits of going through the legal guides process is that you wind up building a matter database of sorts – which is great for pitches and proposals, and lawyer bios and practice area descriptions as well as other miscellaneous projects that come up where you need to include updated matters.

Of course you may disagree with me on the value of being ranked in legal guides like Chambers. I think times have changed and their power is just not what it used to be 5 or 10 years ago but of course there are exceptions. The one thing I do feel strongly about is that if you know you don’t have a shot of being ranked, don’t waste your time completing the submission forms. Your time and your marketing team’s time is valuable – so use it wisely.