Landing a spot on a prestigious list is highly coveted by lawyers and law firms, but your chances can be severely hindered if the publication has never seen your name before. Sure, there is the exception of having a precedent-setting matter so significant that you are an obvious choice, but for many candidates, that’s not the case.
A panel of journalists and reporters discussed what it takes to make headway on their lists at the Legal Marketing Association – Los Angeles Chapter’s event “Turning your Pitch into Press”. In the legal industry, the Daily Journal’s “Top 100” list is at the forefront of many Southern California attorneys’ minds.
The Editor-In-Chief said they receive an overwhelming number of submissions, half of which they easily eliminate. Once they narrow their selection down to about 200, they search their database to see how many times that lawyer/law firm has appeared in the publication in the last 12-18 months. If the result is never, then forget it. If you’ve been interviewed for a story or your cases have been covered, you are likely still in the running.
Don’t let this discourage you, though. In our experience, we found that it can take any professional several submissions before landing that spot. In the meantime, it’s crucial to stay in front of your desired publication by sending them press releases about verdicts, settlements, deals etc., as well as industry trends and forecasts that they can report on. The more visible you are as an attorney, the better your chances. Even if you don’t think your work in a particular year warrants recognition on a list, it is still worthwhile to submit a nomination because you are demonstrating to the publication that you are very interested while keeping them apprised of what you are working on.
In the end, when in doubt about whether to submit for a list or ranking, presuming you have the work to substantiate being on the list, it’s safe to err on the side of yes.