A recent survey of 500 General Counsel by Acritas found that only 5% felt that legal directories were even relevant to their firm selection process and only 3% felt they were “influenced” by the information the directories contained.
Given the cost – often a six figure amount for mid to large size law firms and the cost of keeping the directories current – it seems a no-brainer to spend money elsewhere for more effective marketing and business development (nice dinner with key clients, for example?)
However, before getting out your trash cans, here a few things to consider:
1. Was this survey done only on GC in the UK and is there a cultural bias against directories across the ocean?
2. What about the 5%? What if having an extensive listing in a legal directory tipped the scales for a GC with a million dollar litigation to hand out to outside counsel? Only one such a case in five years would probably justify the cost.
3. What about the situation where a company gets sued in Alaska and has no idea who to turn to but finds a suitable, appropriate listing in a legal directory?
These questions aren’t meant to justify a very questionable expenditure but may mean that legal directories have a value at a much lower price point. Negotiating price is always very appropriate and necessary in these cases.