Now law firm marketers can toss the vaunted Chambers directory on the heap with the soggy yellow pages dumped on their driveways, Superlawyers and the 950 other surveys and rankings of law firms. Statistically significant evidence proves that all of them generate little to no new business for law firms.
Researchers at Acritas recently surveyed 500 leading general counsel — arguably the main target market for the directories — and found that only 5 per cent considered the directories relevant in making decisions on instructing external lawyers for specific pieces of work. Only 3 per cent said that they have been influenced significantly by information in the directories, according to Acritas, which is based in London and New York. (See chart below).
Acritas has been making its findings public since 2007 -- see Only 3% of Legal Work is Influenced by Directories -- but law firms still continue throw away money on directories. Everyone knows that directories are published as profit-making ventures that prey on lawyer egos. Clients hear about lawyers by word of mouth and recommendations, profile law firms using Google, and hire attorneys with whom they have a relationship. Lawyer directories and rankings do not factor into the hiring decision.
Somehow, Chambers attained a self-importance that exempted it in the minds of law firm marketers, from the reality that it doesn't make any more difference than other directories. The Times of London skewered Chambers and the nail-biting of marketers trying to get listed by Chambers.
Here's an excerpt of the Times' article, Law directories: a benchmark of success or simply nice to have?