Writing, editing and legal directories advice

Tag Archives: Defero Law

Legal Directories: Ten tips for choosing client referees

Referee feedback is one of the most important elements of the directories’ research, but many law firms stumble when selecting referees. So before you send in that spreadsheet, ask yourself the following questions:
1.Have you asked them (and have they said yes)?
2.Have you worked for this client in the last year?
3.Can they talk about more than one lawyer/department?
4.Are you SURE they are happy with your service?
5.Will they answer emails (a lot of research is done by email now)?
6.Have you put them down for more than one directory – if so, do they know and are they OK with that?
7.Are they from different organisations? Providing multiple contacts from one organisation can backfire as it may annoy the client, or can look to the directories like you only have one good client.
8.Are they referees for lawyers you wish to get into the tables/move up the rankings? Remember those at the top of the tables will likely get plenty of peer recognition so may be less reliant on client feedback.
9.Do they come from a client you have mentioned in your highlight deals? If you can’t provide any clients that match your big deals, the directories may wonder why.
10.Will they have any frame of reference with regard to other firms? If you work in a sector where your clients are individuals rather than organisations (eg, family, private client, trusts and estates) you may be better off putting forward other clients or professional contacts who are more able to compare your services with those provided by competing law firms

If the answer to any of these questions is no, you may need to think again.

A version of this article first appeared in the Legal Directory Tune Up Group.


Defero Law social network for legal professionals – what is it and why should you join?

There are now a plethora of social media sites to choose from, and keeping up with the ones which are best for your business can be time consuming and confusing. So could using smaller, more targeted sites be the answer? I spoke to Richard Pettet, founder of Defero Law, a social networking site aimed specifically at legal professionals, to find out what he thought.

What is your professional background? I spent 11 years working as an advertising manager at Chambers and Partners legal directories.

When and why did you start the site? The site was officially launched in its current form in March 2011. The original concept was simply a legal marketing blog but when others started to join in and asked to post content then the site started to develop into more of a community. What took me by surprise was that law firms were asking to use it as a publishing tool. And so a legal social network was born.

What makes it different from other social networking sites like LinkedIn? Content. LinkedIn is great for connecting, but do you ever ask yourself why you connect with half the people you link up with? I do. The mantra for Defero Law is ‘be found for what you say’. Content is still king when it comes to online marketing and with Defero Law’s great SEO and publishing options, it’s simply a better platform on which to promote your content and win clients or meaningful connections.

What has the market reaction been? Positive, given the risk averse nature of the legal industry. It’s aimed at SMEs really because ‘Big Law’, broadly speaking, have not really cottoned on to any form of social media yet. They will, but not yet. For now the smaller law firms who are looking for additional online exposure are loving it. Members also tell me it’s a friendly place to connect and share, which is something I’m proud of.

Who is a typical member?  A healthy mix of lawyers at small to medium sized law firms and business development staff at a range of firms, from small High Street firms to Top 50 corporates. The Top 50 guys are the site ‘lurkers’, sussing out if and when to dive in with a blog or similar once the committee has approved it. You know how it is.

Where do you see the site going next? World domination of the legal social media landscape! Or just providing a safe, friendly environment for the legal industry to promote itself in the face of changing market conditions. I’m not sure which sounds better…

So, does Defero Law sound like a good fit for your business goals? Check out the site here to find out more.